School’s out for the summer, and I’m back in the kitchen. So happy to have a break from coursework, and time to create another low carb recipe! Here in Florida, the summer heat has me craving cool, creamy desserts and icy treats to enjoy. Enter a sugar-free version of the official dessert of the state of Florida: Key Lime Pie!
This is not your momma’s key lime pie…
…or at least if my mother made key lime pie (she grew up in North Dakota), it wouldn’t be like this! There are no egg yolks or sweetened condensed milk to be found in this version. With all of the tart, sweet flavor and none of the sugar, this low carb key lime pie will remind you of the slices you’ve enjoyed in Florida seafood restaurants. The pie has a slightly different texture than the original, though, with its airy, almost mousse-like filling. I can promise you that you won’t miss the sweetened condensed milk after tasting this pie.
I think you’ll really like this super easy gluten-free nut crust. It’s worth making the pie just for the crust alone!
Removing the eggs and using xanthan gum as the binder helps keep the texture nice and crisp. It’s a natural ingredient that tremendously improves the texture of gluten-free and low carb pastries.
The flavor from the blend of pecan meal and almond flour is phenomenal! If you’re having difficulty locating pecan meal, just swap it out for more blanched almond flour. Our local Publix in Southwest Florida has a whole section devoted to products from the George Pecan Co. Their pecan meal is really finely milled and fresh tasting. I use it more often than almond meal sometimes, since I have to grind almond meal myself. Pecans do have higher fat percentage than almond, so a one-for-one substitution of pecan meal for almond meal might not work well in all of your recipes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk together almond flour, pecan meal (if using), cinnamon, stevia powder, and xanthan gum together in a bowl.
- Grind erythritol in a coffee grinder to powder it.
- Whisk powdered erythritol into the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Stir vanilla and salt into melted butter, and add it to the dry ingredients.
- Knead together dough with hands until everything is distributed evenly throughout the dough. The color of the dough will appear to be even throughout when its ready.
- Lightly grease a large glass pie dish with butter.
- Press dough into dish in the shape of a crust, trying to make sure that the thickness is the same all over the pie dish.
- Poke holes with a fork all over the crust so to ensure that air pockets don’t form while it’s baking. Bake crust for 14-15 minutes. The crust is done once the edges have barely browned. Check the crust a couple of times while it is baking to see if bubbles form. Should you see air pockets rising under the crust, open the oven door, and gently prick those areas with your fork.
- Place dish on a cooling rack to cool, and wait at least 2 hours for crust to dry out and reach room temperature. You can cover the crust with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator overnight if you’d like to prepare the filling the next day.
- Set cream cheese out on the countertop for 2 hours to reach room temperature.
- Beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and free of lumps.
- Powder erythritol in coffee grinder.
- Stir erythritol and 1/4 tsp. stevia into cream cheese, then beat with mixer for 2-3 minutes on high speed to ensure erythritol has dissolved and texture is smooth.
- Refrigerate mixture while you perform the next step.
- Heat key lime juice, covered, in microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
- Add lime zest to hot key lime juice.
- Whisk gelatin into key lime juice until it has completely dissolved.
- Let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes, or until no longer hot to the touch.
- Stir key lime juice mixture into cream cheese mixture. You want the gelatin to start thickening as it cools down. Look for a pudding-like texture as you are stirring the cream cheese mixture around the bowl. If it is not thickening, make an ice bath with another bowl filled with ice and water. Set bowl with cream cheese mixture over the ice bath (making sure water doesn’t get into cream cheese mixture!) and stir the cream cheese mixture around bottom of bowl with a spatula. Do this for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency and is cool to the touch. Remove bowl with cooled cream cheese mixture from ice bath, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream and 1/8 tsp. stevia until stiff peaks form.
- Use spatula to fold a dollop of whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture, and stir it around a bit. Fold the rest of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until texture is fairly even.
- Scrape filling into pie crust and refrigerate, uncovered, for 3-4 hours. Texture will be firm enough to cut pie into clean slices.
- Garnish pie with homemade whipped cream if desired. Pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days. If you don’t mind a few extra carbs, you can just use canned whipped cream to garnish the pie.
- *You can use any granular sweetener in place of the erythritol. Just taste the dough and filling to make sure they are sufficiently sweet, and make adjustments!
- **Bottled Key Lime Juice is sold in most grocery stores.
Nutrition Facts for Healthy Indulgences Key Lime Pie (1/8th Pie):
307 calories, 4g net carbohydrates (fiber subtracted), 30g fat, 7g protein
Nutrition Facts for a regular Key Lime Pie (Single Slice, or 1/8th):
553 calories, 84g net carbohydrates (fiber subtracted), 21g fat, 11g protein
1) A bottle of NuNaturals Liquid Stevia (perfect for your morning coffee!)
2) A bag of xanthan gum (shipped to you from iherb.com)
Feel free to specify whether you’d like to be entered into the drawing for only ONE of the above prizes (if you already have either stevia or xanthan gum).
Leave a comment stating your favorite pie, and email address, and you could win one of the following prizes: The giveaway is closed, and the winner has been contacted.
In closing, I wanted to say “thank you!” for keeping up with this blog, and sending me your emails, even though I’ve been too busy with school to contribute much to the low carb community and blogosphere for the past year or so. Hope you are having a sweet summer!