Honestly, before trying a piece of my mother in law’s authentic Florida key lime pie, I never gave this dessert a second look. To be honest, I am more of a chocolate dessert kind of girl, but there is something so magical about this key lime pie, that I find myself craving it from time to time. It is fresh, flavorful, creamy, and completely dairy, egg, and gluten free. You have to give it a chance. I really don’t think you will be disappointed, no matter who you are.
As with most pies, they tend you fill your kitchen with heavenly smells, and this citrus pie is no different. The lime oil that is released from zesting the limes is like the best essential oil “energy” boost you could ask for. If you have a lemon/lime juicer – I highly recommend using it for this recipe because of the sheer quantity of limes needed, however, you can also use a citrus reamer and then strain the seeds out at the end. You can find a bag of key limes almost anywhere and typically one bag is more than enough for this recipe.
I know what you are thinking. It’s winter, why would I make a key lime pie? Especially when you should probably be enjoying a slice pool side, like I did. Well, my only answer is to use your imagination. Make this pie, imagine that it is really sunny and warm outside and give yourself a moment of summer! It’s the New Year, you can do whatever you want. I believe in you!
Besides, look at this beautiful creation…
1/3 of a 1 lb box of gluten free graham crackers
5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 cup raw cashews, soaked (in hot water for 30 minutes, or overnight)
1/4-1/3 cup water
1 – 14 ounce can of coconut cream
2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like your pie.
2 teaspoons lime zest – zest before juicing!
2/3 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (can substitute regular limes). Approximately 24 key limes or 6 regular sized limes, give or take a couple.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add raw cashews to a bowl, and cover with piping hot water. You can cover this dish for added quickness. Set aside.
Add the graham crackers to a food processor and process into crumbs.
Once the crumbs are formed, add the melted coconut oil and coconut sugar.
Press the mixture, using your hands, into the bottom of a pie pan, making sure to form borders around the edges. The crust needs to come up to the top of the pie pan.
Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, until the golden brown and set. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
Grate the limes until you have 2 teaspoons worth of lime zest. Great ready for the amazing smell of lime oil to overtake your kitchen!
Then juice the limes until you have 2/3 cup of lime juice. Make sure to remove any seeds that fall into the juice.
Drain and rinse your soaked cashews and add to a food processor with 1/4 cup water. Process until the cashews form a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more water if needed, but do not add too much water or your pie will be runny.
Add the coconut cream and maple syrup and process for 2 minute.
Add the lime zest and juice and blend until well incorporated. Pour the mixture into the crust. There may be extra filling, as replacing eggs with cashew cream is not an exact science (yet).
Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool on the counter.
Once cool, place in the fridge to set for 4 hours. This allows the cashew cream, coconut oil, and coconut cream to set. You may want to place the pie in the freezer for 20 minutes or so right before slicing into pieces if you want “perfect” slices.
Honestly, we dug into this before it set in the fridge and it more resembled key lime sauce over graham crackers and was DELICIOUS. However, it did set up well once refrigerated!
Isn’t it pretty? So go ahead, give yourself a slice of summer. Put your chocolate back in the pantry and buy a bag of key limes. You might just thank me.
You can check out my other dessert creations here.