It’s fitting that I’ve been craving Key Lime Pie lately. Not only because I have a weak spot for the well known citrus packed dessert, but also because the Irishman and me just returned from a trip to Florida.
Of course the main draw for traveling to Florida often includes Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, both of which we thoroughly enjoyed. I especially loved tapping into my inner child (i.e. inner Potterhead) while touring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and happily consumed more than my fare share of frozen butterbeers and chocolate Fizzing Whizzbees. But the other main draw, at least for me, was the fact that Key Lime Pie is the official dessert of Florida. Honestly, after hearing that I really didn’t need much more than a gentle nudge before hopping on a plane and spending nearly two week in this sunny destination.
Even though we ate an embarrassing amount of Key Lime Pie whilst we were in the Sunshine State, I felt obligated to make my own version the second we returned home. Like with any addiction, my treatment plan is to ween myself off of the dessert, slowly, one pie at a time.
Now I know everyone has their own recipe or version of the much loved pie; graham crust vs pie crust, whipped cream topping vs meringue or naked even, Key limes vs regular limes, baked vs unbaked. All are acceptable to me and if placed in front of me I will eat the pie in nearly any form, but that’s not to say I don’t have a favourite.
For me, I prefer the silky custard texture of a baked filling, slightly sweetened whipped cream to cut through the sourness of the lime, with a buttery cookie crumb crust holding it all together.
Just a few notes to keep in mind:
- If you can’t get your hands on Key limes not to worry, go ahead and use regular limes.
- I like to strain my lime juice to remove the pulp. My preference is to have as smooth of a filling as possible and that include no zest or pulp in my filling.
- If you can find a brand of gluten free graham cracker or cookies that you like you can use them instead of making your own crust. In my experience I just haven’t been happy with the flavour or texture I’ve experienced with store bought gluten-free cookies, so I prefer to make my own. The recipe below was inspired by Christina Tosi’s Crack Pie crust.
- Strain your filling before pouring it into your prepared pie crust to ensure you don’t get any lumps or egg particles.
- If your mixture has a lot of air bubbles you can tap it on the counter top or leave it in the fridge for 2-3 hrs.
Key Lime Pie
Coconut Oat Crust
- 170 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 100 g dark brown sugar
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 large US egg yolk
- 80 g almond flour
- 80 g gluten free rolled oats
- 40 g coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Key Lime Filling
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup fresh key lime juice (6-8 key limes), plus zest for garnish *can sub 5-6 regular limes
- 4 large US egg yolks
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
Coconut Oat Crust
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F degrees. Butter a 8 or 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, spring-form pan or pie plate.
- Sift flour, coconut, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 115g butter, 75g brown sugar and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often with a spatula. Mix in egg yolk until just combined. Then with the mixer on low, begin adding the flour mixture until everything is fully incorporated.
- Use vegetable spray to grease a quarter sheet pan and line with parchment or silpat. Spread the cookie dough mixture in the center of the pan and with a spatula to approx ¼ inch thick, creating one large cookie.
- Bake for approx 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centre is set and slightly firm. Cool completely before using.
- Once the cookie is cooled, break up the cookie into smaller pieces and in patches, using a food processor or blender, pulse the cookie until it resembles course sand. Transfer the cookie crumbs into a large bowl, add the remaining brown sugar and softened butter. Using your hands, knead the mixture until moist enough to form into a ball.
- Divide the crust evenly between two (8 or 9-inch) pans. Using your fingers and the base of a small measuring cup, press the cookie crust firmly into each pie tin. If you are only making one pie you can wrap and freeze the second pie crust for another recipe.
Key Lime Filling
- In a medium bowl, combine the condensed milk, key lime juice, egg yolks and sugar. Using a spatula stir until smooth and fully combined. Using a strainer, pour the mixture into the crust. Tap on the counter allowing any air bubbles to escape.
- Bake for approx 20 minutes until the filling is set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the centre. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled and topped with whipped cream and zested lime.