Sure, WaterColor Inn’s Fish Out of Water (FOOW) may be known for its array of Gulf seafood dishes, but the menu’s coastal inspiration doesn’t stop there. The dessert offerings, too, are fresh representations of the taste of our distinct Northwest Florida destination.

While we don’t like playing favorites, guests tell us that the Keys to the South Key Lime Pie is the standout – and Pastry Chef Nicholas Clark just may agree.

“I think what makes this dessert so special for our guests is that it’s a real taste of Southern flavors that evoke the warmth and spirit of the summer season. Unlike other desserts, this is a ‘deep dish’ key lime pie, so the generous size of each slice is a conversation-starter in its own right!”

Each delicious slice of this decadent sweet-and-tangy treat is served with fresh berries that Chef Clark says perfectly complement the flavors of the pie and provide a pop of color.

We begged Chef Clark to share the recipe, and we’re pleased to say that he agreed. So, alas here you have it ­– your how-to for a Keys to the South experience right at home. Be sure to tag us in your creations using #watercolorinn or #foow30a. Happy baking!

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Ingredients (serves eight)

For Graham Crust

  • 6 cups graham crumbs
  • 10 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 oz egg whites

For Filling

  • 52.5 oz condensed milk
  • 20 oz sour cream
  • 1.25 cups key lime juice
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 7 fresh egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste


  • Preheat to 325°F
  • Line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper around the bottom insert of pan and secure tightly into pan
  • Line entire springform pan with aluminum foil and place 2.5 cups graham crust on bottom, pressing tightly. Press the remaining crumbs up the side of the pan
  • Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Pour pie filling mixture inside springform pan; place inside another larger pan that will hold 1 quart of water or at least to almost fill halfway up the sides of springform pan.
  • Bake for 2.5 hours at 350°F
  • After 2.5 hours, turn oven off but leave pans inside; set a timer for 2 hours
  • After the 2 hours, remove pans from oven carefully and remove the key lime springform pan from the water. Discard the foil
  • Let sit at room temp on a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath for 1 hour until it reaches room temperature
  • Place into refrigerator to cool overnight
  • Enjoy!

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Details included in this story were accurate at time of publication but are subject to change based on seasonal schedules, amenity and/or operational updates. For the most current information, please visit the respective property’s website.