Key Lime Pie always reminds me of my trips to Florida. I remember eating it in Key West after having visited the Hemingway House at a nice cafe in the area. Being a writer and a reader, and a big fan of Ernest Hemingway, visiting his home was a time of inpisration. It even inspired me to write poetry, which I did so fervently at the time.
Key Limes are a very flavroful tiny citrus fruit. They are picked when green, and they yellow as they ripen. Unlike the Persian limes that are easy to find on the market, key limes are full of seeds, and have a thinner skin. In the United States, it is associated with the Florida Keys, hence the name. The 1926 Miami hurricane ripped out the key lime groves and they were replaced with Persian limes, whose trees were less thorny, surely making them easier to pick. We now get them from Mexico, Florida, Texas and California.
One of my local supermarkets carries bags of key limes. When I was creating this recipe, I realized that I actually needed the whole bag to get enough juice from this tiny fellows!
The recipe starts stove top and finishes in the refrigerator. It is keto, gluten free and sugar free. And it is very easy to make! I used an 8×8 inch glass square pan, resulting in nice square key lime pie bars. Eating a square pie is sort of a fun way to eat a pie!
If you can not find key limes, then you can of course use any lime you find.
for the crust:
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp yacon (or your favorite sweetener)
5 tbsp butter
for the filling:
1 bag of key limes (approximately 1 lb)
Juice of all the limes
Zest of 1/2 of the limes
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup of yacon syrup
1/4 tsp pure monk fruit (I use Julian Bakery)
1/4 tsp salt
2 packets gelatin + 1/2 cup water
for the topping:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp whipped cream cheese
1 tsp powdered sweetener ( I used 1 tsp of Choczero’s vanilla syrup for this)
(optional 1 scoop unflavored collagen powder – the collagen powder add stability to this whipped topping when you are not using a powdered sweetener)
1 tsp lime zest to garnish
In a food processor, grind the pecans blending it with the cinnamon, salt and almond flour. Then toast that mixture on the stove top. Melt the butter and pour it in. You can do that in a separate sauce pan, or cut up the butter into smaller pieces and melt it right in the pan with the ground nuts that you are toasting. Add in a teaspoon of yacon syrup and toss to coat. Continue to cook for an another minute or two. Pour this mixture into your prepared pan. I used a glass pyrex 8×8 pan for this. Press the mixture into the base of this pan. Place it in the refrigerator and allow it to set.
In a small saucepan, bloom your 2 packs of gelatin in 1/2 cup of water. After five minutes, bring that to a simmer, whisk it to dissolve. Set that aside.
Zest and juice your key limes. Whisk this with the eggs, salt, yacon syrup, monk fruit (or other sweetener combination). Add in the the heavy cream and bring this whole combination to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring continuously.
When the cream has thickened and coats the back of your wooden spoon, pour it through a strainer into a medium sized bowl. I strained out the zest and any bits of egg that may have accidentally curdled, which you will discard. Pour in the gelatin and mix that together.
Ladel the key lime custard mixture into the pan with the crust that has been setting. Refrigerate it uncovered for 4 hours. When it has set, you can make the whipped topping.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, using a hand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract, sweetener (and optional collagen powder).
My little trick. I have a sensitivity to a variety of alternative sugar free sweeteners. That goes of course for the powdered ones as well. So my solution in wanting to stabilize my whipped topping is to combine the whipping cream with a little cream cheese, collagen powder and Choczero’s vanilla syurp. I actually keep this syrup on hand to use as a sweetener for this type of thing. If you don’t have these strange allergies, then you can simply use any sugar free powdered sweetener that you love!
Smooth it over the top of your now set key lime cream and garnish with a little bit of lime zest.
I let it set into the refrigerator for thirty minutes, cut and serve!