MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — “The first time I ever made it was in Key West, and we were on a boat,” Vera Tillett said about her Key Lime Pie. “It was back in about ‘56.”

For 65 years she’s made this pie for her family, and then later for customers at The Citrus Place on Terra Ceia Island in Manatee County.

They’ve been open since the 70s, selling their citrus. Now you can find unpasteurized orange juice, fresh clams, fruit jellies, postcards, ice cream — and, of course, her famous Key Lime Pie.

You can get a regular size pie or little baby pies. 

And what, after all these years, has this family matriarch learned about her family and the store favorite food?

“My husband didn’t like it,” she said laughing.

But luckily, everybody else did.

Here is the recipe:

  • 4 egg yokes
  • 1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup of Key Lime juice
  • 1 pie crust


  • Combine egg yokes and condensed milk
  • Stir in key lime juice
  • Pour into pie shell of your choice
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees
  • Chill to enjoy