Monday, June 29, 2015

Dairy Free Key Lime Pie with a Chocolate Crumble Crust

This is one of those recipes I've been working on over, and over again, trying to get it to what I'd like. I am a huge key lime anything fan and I do miss those creamy pies, especially in the summer months. In order to help satisfy those cravings, I decided to create one of my own with a little research and trial and error. 

The biggest trick with this recipe is finding the best balance of clear gelatin to preferred firmness for the pie. Too little, and it's more like a pudding than a pie, too much and you have a more pumpkin pie like firmness. I also found that the sweetness came into play. I am not such a sugar fiend as I used to be and therefor don't add as much as I would have a few years back. That doesn't mean that more sugar can't be added. So bear with the little side notes on this recipe and take them all in before you try your hand at this. I finally found a balance I like, but you may need to adjust to get it to where you like it using the parameter of measurements I'm giving in this recipe. Anything more or less, just don't work.

Also, I do get specific with brands in this for a very good reason. Not all canned coconut milks are created equally. I prefer two specific brands due to their reliable consistency. If you cannot get these two brands, then you may find you'll have to try this recipe out more than once for your preferred results. As for the gelatin, different brands have different amounts in their packets. Aggravating right? So definitely get the brand name given in this recipe. 

Sciency-recipe stuff aside, it is so good! I love the blend of the chocolate and key lime and it's a great treat to have after a nice grilled dinner. The crust crumbles a little as you serve it and becomes a great garnish to sprinkle on top of each slice. Add on a creamy topping and it's just what I hoped it would be! So without further delay, here's the nitty gritty of it!

Dairy Free Key Lime Pie With Chocolate Crumble Crust

For the Crumble Crust
1 sleeve of chocolate graham crackers crushed to fine crumbs (Opt to use a food processor for an even blend)
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsps of melted coconut oil
In medium bowl combine all ingredients. Then evenly press mix into pie dish greased with extra coconut oil. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the Filling
4 limes juiced
Zest of 2 of these lime
1/2-2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar. (This is to taste. Some like sweeter, some like it tangier. I taste test at 1/2 and decide if it needs more.)
1 can full fat coconut milk chilled and separated from skim and fat. (I prefer to use Golden Star brand since it gives the best fat to skim ratio. You won't need the skim in this recipe but can save it for other uses.)
2 packets of Knox clear gelatin. (Depending on how firm you want the pie to be, use 1 1/4 packets for a less firm pie or both packets for a very firm pie. I tend to use both since citrus can sometimes not set as well with gelatin.) 
1 tsp of vanilla

In a medium glass bowl, that is microwave safe, pour juice of limes and then carefully and evenly sprinkle packages of gelatin over the juice. Allow the gelatin to bloom. You know it's ready when it's absorbed the liquid and fluffed up a bit. 

Place bowl in microwave and heat at increments of 10 secs to melt the gelatin. You will know it's done when you do not feel the granules anymore. For room temp lime juice I only needed 30 seconds. It may be more if you used lime juice that is colder. Using a hand mixer, begin to gently whip the gelatin mix into a slight froth. About 30 seconds usually.

Then add in sugar, the "cream fat" of the coconut milk, and the vanilla. Continue to whip the mixture until well blended and smooth.

 Fold in the zest. Allow mixture to sit for about 10 minutes to get the flavors to mix together.

Pour mix into pie shell and chill until firm.

For the Whipped Cream

Make sure to use either Golden Star or Thai Kitchen brands to really get a whipped cream texture. Other brands do not solidify as well so you will get something more like a cream sauce, like what is shown in the picture. That particular brand was called Geisha and I do not recommend it after having tried it out for this whipped cream recipe. It still works well with the pie in this form but you just don't get the extra creamy aspect and you have to drizzle over instead of a nice dollop.

1 can full fat coconut milk chilled and separated, reserve liquid but most likely will not be needed.
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

In large chilled glass bowl, add all contents and begin to whip with a hand mixer. Do not over do it or it will cause the mixture to become grainy.  You can add a dollop on top of your slices of pie before serving.