Smooth and creamy, this naturally green paleo key lime pie is tangy yet subtly sweet.
Around the holidays, I have to admit that there are times that I get a bit homesick. You see, while I grew up in Michigan, I’ve been living on the Spanish Riviera for over 10 years now. We don’t get snow here, so I can’t really dream of a white Christmas, but instead I have a few marvelous trees filled with fruit that I could have never had in Michigan. One of my favorite trees is my key lime tree. Around this time of year, the small limes are ripening and turning a beautiful shade of yellow. My son loves to go running outside each day to bring me any limes that may have fallen off the tree.
When it came time to try to decide what would be my first recipe to share on Rubies & Radishes, I glanced over at the accumulating pile of key limes and figured it was the perfect time to try to make some sort of dessert with them. I say “try” because my first attempts weren’t exactly blog worthy. I attempted to make a lime mousse of sorts, and while I did end up happily eating it, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. It was a pale yellow, and the mousse separated from the gelatin below. The color was something I figured that I could easily fix with a bit of homemade natural food coloring, something I’ve been working on perfecting for a while now, but I wanted to add something smooth and creamy to help with the consistency too.
That’s where the fruit from another one of my trees came to save the day. We recently planted an avocado tree, and while it’s a bit too small to be giving us much fruit yet (we got one avocado this year), I’m looking forward to the day that I have plenty of avocados for making all sorts of healthy treats. Avocados are perfect for paleo treats because they are smooth and creamy and are easily adapted to sweet or savory recipes.
In the end, I chose to make a paleo key lime pie, and was very happy with the results. It’s smooth and creamy, tangy yet subtly sweet, and is naturally a beautiful shade of light green.
While I normally use homemade coconut milk when making desserts at home, I decided to use a canned coconut milk when elaborating this recipe because I figured that’s what most people would be using. Canned coconut milk tends to set more solidly in the fridge than the homemade variety, so if you choose to use homemade coconut milk, I’d suggest adding in a little more gelatin to the filling mixture, just in case, to make sure that the pie sets properly.
For the crust, I chose to use a variation of my coconut date balls. By combining the dates and shredded desiccated coconut, you can achieve a very simple dough that hardens when chilled. That makes it perfect for using as a grain free pie crust. I chose to add in some ground almonds to bring it closer to a traditional nut crust, but you can easily replace the almonds with more shredded coconut to make the crust nut free.
Paleo Key Lime Pie
Makes 2 small, 6 inch pies or 1 larger 8-9 inch pie
For the crust:
For the filling:
- Soak the dates in water to soften them while you prepare the ingredients for the pie filling.
- Use a fine grater to remove only the zest from 3 of the 4 limes. Be careful not to include the white part of the peel because it is bitter. You should obtain around 1.5 teaspoons of zest.
- Once you have zested the limes, cut them in half and juice them. I juiced 4 small limes to obtain 1/2 cup of lime juice.
- Remove the dates from the water and add them to a food processor, and begin to process them into a paste. When the date mixture starts to stick to the sides of the food processor making the process difficult, you can begin to add in the shredded coconut little by little along with a dash of salt.
- Continue to add in the shredded coconut and the ground almonds long enough to end up with a smooth paste. You can replace the almond flour with more shredded coconut if you need to avoid nuts.
- Press the coconut into the bottom of a springform pan or other type of pie pan with removable bottom to make unmolding easier later on.
- In a saucepan, mix together the lime juice, lime zest, gelatin, honey and coconut milk, stirring over low to medium heat just long enough to dissolve the gelatin and honey into the mixture.
- Rinse your food processor, scoop the avocado(es) into the container and begin to process them until smooth.
- Slowly begin to add in the warm lime/coconut milk mixture and continue to process until everything is well combined and smooth.
- Pour the filling mixture over the prepared crusts, and place the pie(s) into the fridge to set.
- Chill for several hours.
- I haven’t had problems with the pies sticking to the pan, but if you are having a difficult time of un-molding them at serving time, you can warm the pans slightly by wrapping the sides with a kitchen towel soaked in hot water for a minute or two or run a knife under hot water and slide it around the edge of the pie to help release it from the pan.
- Serve and enjoy!