Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Key Lime Pie w/ Almond Coconut Crust (Made with GGC's Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk)

In the last couple of weeks, I've had a couple of requests from followers to create a wheat/grain/sugar free version of Key Lime Pie.  I decided to make a version that did not require the filling to be baked (only the pie crust required baking).  The filling was put together and then poured into the pie crust and chilled for several hours, making it a nice cool summer dessert.  Many recipes for Key Lime Pie have separate layers (with the whipped cream layer being on top).  I decided to roll it all together into one layer and simply fold the whipped cream into the lime filling (thus creating a light mousse-like consistency).  To give it a bit more richness, I also added cream cheese to the filling.  I used my recipe for Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (made with Swerve) in place of what would traditionally be canned regular sweetened condensed milk which is loaded with carbs and sugar. Using unsweetened full fat coconut milk and Swerve (my sweetener of choice) rather than regular milk drastically reduces the carb and sugar content.  It is very simple to make, but requires about 45 minutes to reduce while simmering on the stove, so I always make a double batch to use for something else. My sweetened condensed milk recipe is actually a "double batch" that uses 2 cans of unsweetened coconut milk since it is nice to have the extra available to make something else with, without having to wait the 45 minutes to reduce.  The second dessert or treat that you make with the other half of the batch is SO much quicker to put together and make.

I have re-posted my recipe for the Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk below and also linked it in the ingredient list to my recipe for Absolutely Magical Cookie Bars that I made back in March with my recipe; so, that's a suggestion of something you might want to make with the other half batch of sweetened condensed milk. Check those out when you get a chance...they turned out really good. The pie crust recipe makes one 9 or 10-inch pie crust.  It will also make two 6-inch pies (which I chose to make using my 6-inch Pyrex pie dishes).  I used my basic almond pie crust but reduced the almond flour a bit and replaced some of it with shredded unsweetened coconut to make an Almond Coconut Pie Crust and added a dash of Ceylon cinnamon as well. I made two different versions of the pie -- one had a "mousse-like" consistency and was light, sweet and tart...and tasted just like traditional key lime pies tastes. The other was a little more thick and rich because I increased the amount of cream cheese by an additional 4 ounces, which made the texture a bit more solid and firm. My personal preference was the lighter more mousse-like version (pictures below).  Also note in the photos below, that I used an entire 1-pound bag of Sunkist key limes in order to get the 1/2 cup of lime juice for this recipe. Since I wasn't sure if I would have enough juice, I bought an extra little bottle of key lime juice "just in case". The bag of limes literally gave me the exact amount I needed.  Surprisingly, even though key limes are very tiny (walnut sized), they are very thin skinned and actually produce more juice than you would expect to come out of such a tiny little lime.  In case you are interested in reading a little bit about key limes and how they differ from regular Persian limes, here is a link to some info: Key Lime Info.  I snapped a few photos below for you to see. Enjoy!



Here's a look at one of the pie crusts before being baked, the bag of key limes and the kind of coconut milk I used.
The Key Limes are on the left...for perspective, I placed a regular Persian lime on the right and the "just in case" juice is in the middle.
I ended up with 3 cups (instead of 2-1/2 cups) of Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (the pie only requires 1-1/4 cups).
Note that I used the entire pound of Key Limes to get 1/2 cup of juice.

Key Lime Pie w/ Almond Coconut Crust
Makes one 9" or 10" pie or two 6-inch pies

Almond Coconut Crust Recipe
1-1/2 cups blanched almond flour (use 2 cups if omitting the coconut listed below)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (small fine shreds)
3 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small cubes
1 large egg
Dash Ceylon cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place all crust ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cut butter and egg into flour with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles small pebbles and the flour is thoroughly moistened (the same way you prepare a regular pie crust).  Press crust mixture into pie dish or tart pan (I use either a 10" Pyrex pie dish or 2 smaller 6" Pyrex pie dishes).  Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until light golden brown; remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Filling Recipe
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (brick style), softened (add additional 4 ounces for richer/thicker version)  *(see note below)
1-1/4 cups Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (recipe below)
1/2 cup key lime juice  **(see note below)
1 teaspoon lime zest  ** (see note below)
1/2 cup cold heavy cream (can increase up to 3/4 cup, if desired)
3 to 4 tablespoons Swerve confectioners style sweetener
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional sweetener (Swerve or NuNaturals stevia drops) to taste, optional
Additional whipped cream for serving, optional

In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy using a hand mixer.  Add sweetened condensed coconut milk and lime juice and beat until mixture is smooth; stir in lime zest.

In a separate medium bowl, whip heavy cream until cream begins to thicken; add vanilla and Swerve sweetener and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until well blended and smooth. Taste for sweetness and add additional sweetener, if desired.  Pour mixture into baked, cooled crust(s).  Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until set (overnight is even better). Serve with additional whipped cream, if desired.

* Note:  As a delicious (and easier to find) alternative, you can substiute the lime juice and zest with lemon juice and zest instead to make a delicious "Light Lemon Cream Pie".

**Note: If you prefer a richer/thicker filling, add an additional 4 ounces of cream cheese to the filling for a total of 12 ounces (1-1/2 bricks of cream cheese).  The 8 ounces will yield a fluffy and light "mousse-like" consistency and should ideally be refrigerated overnight.

The recipe for Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk is below -- note that the recipe can be halved (the Key Lime Pie only requires 1-1/4 cups of condensed milk) 

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (makes 2-1/2 cups) -- *Key Lime Pie only uses 1-1/4 cups
2 (14-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
NuNaturals Stevia drops, optional (if additional sweetness desired)

Add coconut milk to a small heavy saucepan and stir in Swerve or sweetener of choice, butter and vanilla.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  After milk comes to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring and whisking frequently for about 45 minutes until reduced almost by half. Taste for sweetness.  If additional sweetness is desired, add liquid stevia drops (or sweetener of choice) until desired sweetness is achieved. Makes approximately 2-1/2 cups of sweetened condensed coconut milk.  Cool before using in recipes. Refrigerate any unused portion.

*Note:  Key Lime Pie uses 1-1/4 cups of Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (approximately half of this recipe)


Darlene said...

Hi, GG,
This looks so good! I was wondering about the possibility of making it with lemons, though? What do you think?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene! Yes...lemons would definitely would have a Lemon Cream Pie! It would be good with either! :-)

CyberSis said...


Key Lime Pie ... how great is that! Back when you came up with that fabulous sweetened condensed milk I immediately thought of Key Lime Pie. I haven’t *quite* gotten around to making the amazing stuff yet, sorry to say! If this doesn’t get me going on it then I don’t know what will! :-) I’ll definitely be making the double batch ... one for the pie and the other for those wonderful “Absolutely Magical Cookie Bars”!

Thanks again for all the time and work you put into developing your fantastic recipes and techniques!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Thanks. When you get around to trying it...I hope you like it. I am trying to decide what to make with the rest of my double batch...debating making the cookie bars again...or experimenting with something new! So many little time! :-)

Sami said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I was going to ask about using lemons, as I have tons in my garden, but the question has been asked. Thanks for giving us such wonderful recipes.

Darlene said...

I sure agree with that statement! (so many decisions, so little time)
Surprisingly, I have never seen Key limes at my otherwise wonderful local grocery store (Wegmans). I'm a big fan of lemons, however, so I'll try that version asap. (need to do some strawberry recipes first, while the season's here) :)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Darlene! Let me know how it turns out! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sami -- Yes, lemons should work great, too! I hope you enjoy! :-)