Can You Freeze Key Limes?

Originating in Malaysia but mostly farmed in Florida, key limes are more flavoursome and aromatic than their normal lime cousins.

When you come across these delicious fruits in the shop it’s tempting to buy more than you need. So, if this happens what do you do, can you freeze key limes?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze key limes. Key limes can be frozen for around 12 months. You can freeze the fruits whole, in wedges or in slices and although there are some changes they can still be used in your recipes for a delicious citrus flavour.

How to Freeze Key Limes

Key limes are fairly versatile when it comes to freezing, and you have a few options. So consider how you plan to use the key limes and whether it would be best to freeze them whole or as wedges or slices.

How to Freeze Key Lime Wedges or Slices

  1. Clean
    Wash and dry your key limes. Choose the best quality limes with no blemishes or sign of damage. You want to give them a good scrub, especially if they are waxed because this wax needs removing.
  2. Cut
    Cut the key limes into wedges or slices. You don’t need to worry about peeling the fruit as long as they are thoroughly washed.
  3. Flash Freeze
    The next step is to add a layer of parchment paper to a baking sheet or any flat bottomed roasting dish. Lay out the lime wedges or slices onto the baking sheet. Try and avoid any of the fruit touching one another. Put this into the freezer for two to three hours until the limes are frozen.
  4. Transfer to Bags
    When the key limes are frozen, you can take the baking sheet out of the freezer. Transfer them into a freezer bag.
  5. Label
    Label the freezer bag with the date and contents.
  6. Seal
    Seal the bag tightly, ensuring you squeeze out as much air as possible first.
  7. Freeze
    Pop the bag into the freezer.

Whenever you need a few wedges or slices of key lime, then you can grab out the number you need and reseal the bag.

How to Freeze Whole Key Limes

Freezing whole limes can be a little trickier because the fruit inside the peel tends to go mushy and soft, making it difficult to use. However, whole frozen limes are perfect for lime zest. You can grate the frozen skin for the zest you need. Let’s take a look at how you freeze whole key limes.

  1. Pick Limes
    Choose high-quality key limes without blemishes and signs of damage. If there is any sign of spoiling, then don’t freeze the lime.
  2. Wash
    Wash the limes thoroughly. You need to wash off any wax coating on the key limes. Dry the limes.
  3. Bag Up
    Pop the limes into a freezer bag and seal the bag tightly. You need to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag.
  4. Label
    Label the freezer bag with the date, so you don’t forget when to use the key limes by,
  5. Freeze
    Put the whole limes in the freezer bag into the freezer.

How to Freeze Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie might be a delicious dessert, but what do you do if you can’t use it all up before it starts to spoil? Can you freeze key lime pie?

Well, yes, you can! It isn’t the quickest of processes, but it is well worth ding it properly so that your pie remains at a high quality.

  1. Line Tray
    Pop some parchment paper onto a flat baking sheet or roasting tray.
  2. Flash Freeze
    Put slices of key lime pie onto the baking sheet and put it into the freezer. You need to keep the baking sheet flat and don’t worry about covering the pie. The idea of this step is to freeze the pie in a way where it retains its shape.
  3. Wrap Frozen Portions
    When the key lime pie is frozen solid, take the baking sheet out of the freezer. Wrap the portions of key lime pie in several layers of cling film.
  4. Wrap Again
    Add a layer of tin foil to each slice.
  5. Bag Up
    Pop the portions of wrapped key lime pie into a freezer bag. Label the bag with the contents and date.
  6. Freeze
    Seal the bag tightly and then put it into the freezer.

Freeze Key Lime Pie

3 Tips for Freezing Key Limes

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing key limes to have the best results:

  • Airtight is Key – Keeping your fruit airtight is the best secret to successful freezing. So a top tip to get out as much air as possible from your freezer bag is to pop a straw into the bag and suck out the excess air. Then seal the bag tightly.
  • Try Freezing Juice – If you want the flavour but not the fruit, you could always squeeze the juice from your key limes and freeze this instead. Pop the juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then transfer the key lime juice ice cubes into a freezer bag then, whenever you need that delicious flavour, you can grab an ice cube or two.
  • Consider Use – Make sure you freeze your key limes in a way that is most useful for you. Freezing whole limes may seem like a great idea, but if you don’t know how to use them, then they may still go to waste. Opt for easy portion-sized wedges and slices instead and pop them into your drinks or recipes.

How Long Can You Freeze Key Limes?

Key limes are wonderful to eat and add flavour, but on top of that, you can also keep them frozen for absolutely ages – up to twelve months! This doesn’t matter which method you use to freeze them they should all last for up to twelve months.

You Can Freeze Key Limes for up to 12 Months

How Do You Defrost Key Limes?

For some uses, you may not need to defrost the key limes. You can use wedges or slices in smoothies and juices or pop into a glass of water to add flavour and keep your drink cool.

For recipes, you may need to defrost the key limes, and to do this, the best method is to grab the number you need out of the bag and pop them into the fridge to defrost slowly.

If you need your limes a little quicker, then you can pop the bag into a bowl of cool water. Keep replacing the water every time it gets cold until the bag of limes is thawed out.

Can You Refreeze Key Limes?

We wouldn’t recommend that you refreeze your key limes. The fruit will change in texture and structure during the first freezing process, and this does mean that it is unlikely to survive the process for a second time intact.

Do Key Limes Freeze Well?

Key limes don’t freeze well if you expect the fruit to remain the same as it was fresh. The fruit will go soft and lose a lot of its structure; however, this doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it.

The fruit makes great garnishes, can be used in recipes or drinks. You can even scoop out the fruit and pop it into sauces, smoothies and in your cooking.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing key limes or limes in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Lime Juice?

As you can imagine, lime juice lends itself to being frozen in ice cubes. Pour lime juice into the slots of an ice cube tray and freeze. Once solid, you can pop the cubes of juice out and store them in a bag. 

Can You Freeze Finger Limes?

Finger limes can be frozen in the same way as key limes. As always, it’s vital that you store them in an airtight container or good-quality freezer bag. 

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