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 healthy 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. Feel free to serve it liberally with whipped cream. We can indulge in that healthy saturated fat on a low carb eating plan!
I think you’ll really like this super easy crust. It’s worth making the pie just for the crust alone!
Just a quick note about comments and emails–I have been traveling, and don’t always have a moment to respond to everything as of late. If you have an urgent question about a recipe, please shoot me an email (or two!). Keep in mind that I’m just a college student. Thanks so much for your feedback! I read all of it and take it to heart to improve the content here.
It’s ice cream season in Florida!
I’ve blogged about this frozen treat before, but couldn’t resist trying a couple of recipes that seemed pretty easy, with readily available ingredients. Best of all, they don’t require an ice cream maker, but still yield deliciously creamy, airy results. Furthermore, they’re company worthy, making summer entertaining easy on your low carb plan.
Coming up for you are more ice cream recipes, now that I’m back home with my little Cuisinart ice cream maker. Stay tuned for a scoopable dairy-free ice cream, coming up next post.
Do you know what a semifreddo is? I had never heard of it until stumbling upon this Italian frozen dessert at a food blog. Semifreddo is italian for “half cold,” which aptly describes the nature of this icy gluten-free dessert. You whip together cream, separated eggs, sweetener and flavoring, then spread it in a loaf pan or mold. Freeze, slice, and enjoy. It’s that simple! All you need is a hand mixer and a few mixing bowls, along with a bit of patience for the whipping and freezing time required.
I topped off the vanilla bean version with a homemade sugar-free hot fudge sauce. It’s lick-off-the-spoon worthy. You can make up a small batch if you feel it’ll be dangerous to have hanging around.
Seasonal blackberries were used in the making of the deep purple semifreddo. I blended ‘em up, strained them, and used them in the custard as well as the fresh sauce drizzled over the top. The sauce helps to cover the cracks I made from using plastic wrap to line the mold. Note to self–don’t line the mold next time. Just grease it with butter, and run the mold under hot water if you want your pretty pan design to show on the finished dessert. I used a jello mold for the blackberry flavor, which you can see created the rounded, fluted shape. How cool is the bright purple coloring from the blackberries? You just know something that naturally vibrant has to be healthy!
And to finish up, here are a few cool posts for your weekend low carb cooking:
Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream (Semifreddo style)
Makes 6 servings
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons erythritol, powdered, or 1/2 cup xylitol, powdered plus 1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals pure stevia extract
3/4 cup Splenda
4 fresh, organic eggs (whites and yolks separated)
2 cups organic heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
In first bowl, beat sugar and egg yolks until mixture is a light creamy yellow, then beat in vanilla extract and bean scrapings. In second bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. In third bowl, beat egg whites, add a pinch of salt, and then keep beating until you have stiff peaks. Fold together cream and egg yolk mixture gently. Then fold in egg whites thoroughly, but with as few strokes as possible to keep the airiness. Spread into loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, or a metal mold. Freeze, covered loosely in plastic wrap, for at least 4 hours. Scoop out with an ice cream scoop. Alternatively, run water over the bottom of the pan for a few seconds, unmold, and slice.
~15.5g net carbs for the whole recipe using erythritol and stevia
~31.5g net carbs for the whole recipe using Splenda
This hot fudge sauce will not work will Splenda as the primary sweetener. No matter how much you add, the unsweetened chocolate will still taste better. You must add erythritol or xylitol for the best flavor.
Sugar-Free Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from a recipe at AllRecipes.com
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I like Ghirardelli)
2 teaspoons unsalted organic butter
1/2 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
6 tablespoons xylitol, powdered, OR 7 tablespoons erythritol, powdered
Pinch NuNaturals pure stevia extract
4-6 teaspoons water
Powder xylitol or erythritol in coffee grinder with pinch of sea salt. Chop chocolate finely. Melt together unsweetened chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. I make my own double boiler by placing my steel bowl over simmering water in a small saucepan. Stir in cream and sweetener mixture, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla and water. Add more water to thin it out if necessary. Taste and adjust sweetness with a bit more stevia or powdered erythritol, as necessary. Keep in mind that the sauce will firm up over ice cream. Store in a jar in the refrigerator, and reheat and whisk well to use.
~10g net carbs for the whole batch
Sugar-Free Blackberry Ice Cream (Semifreddo Style)
Adapted from a recipe at epicurious.com
Makes 5 servings
12 ounces blackberries (2 heaping cups)
1 cup organic heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 large egg yolks
Line loaf pan with plastic wrap, if using. Powder erythritol or xylitol in coffee grinder. Purée berries with 1/4 cup cream and salt in a blender until smooth. Pour through a mesh sieve to remove seeds, if desired. Add yolks to a metal bowl and stir in erythritol or xylitol (or Splenda). Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with mixer until pale, thick, and tripled in volume, about 8 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and set in a large ice bath, stirring it around a few times as it cools. When yolks are cool to the touch, fold in berry puree.
Beat cold heavy cream (with 1/8 teaspoon stevia, if using), in other large bowl, using cleaned beaters. Whip until cream reaches soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into berry mixture gently but thoroughly. Don’t worry if you see a few streaks of white. Scrape mixture into pan or decorate metal mold and freeze, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until firm, at least 5 hours. Run warm water over the bottom of the pan for a few seconds, then invert semifreddo onto a plate. Alternatively, just use an ice cream scoop to serve from the loaf pan. Let semifreddo defrost for a few minutes for easier scooping.
~5.2g net carbs per 1/5th of a recipe, using erythritol and stevia
~7.6g net carbs per 1/5th of a recipe, using Splenda granular
Fresh Blackberry Sauce
Blend blackberries, lemon juice, and sweetener until pureed. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds.
~6.5g net carbs for the whole batch
Gotta keep this post short and sweet. Finals are underway! I cannot always respond to comments on old posts due to time constraints as of late, so please email me with your recipe questions on older posts. I love hearing from you, and am happy to address any of your recipe “issues”!
Now let’s talk about this pie. I know what you’re thinking–MORE chocolate? More chocolate pie?! Now hold on a minute. This is magical, no bake crustless chocolate pie! Instant gratification. Listening now?
It’s low carb, sugar-free, and gluten-free as usual. It was inspired by a happy turn of events–I found some ricotta cheese on sale for $1.50 at Kroger, and grabbed the three containers left. No, it’s not organic (and it’s LOW FAT, ick!) but a girl on a college budget has to work with what’s available. The ingredients read “whey, sea salt” so I feel pretty good about that. Ricotta cheese is low carb and packed with protein. It does not have the tang and gummy mouthfeel of cream cheese, which I really appreciate. Whole Foods sells a delicious RBGH-free brand of ricotta called Calabro, so pick that up if you can find it. I remember it being more wet than most types of ricotta, so cut back on the heavy cream by two tablespoons if you use Calabro.
And the photos… honestly, I’m almost embarrassed to post these. With the limited resources in my dorm room in terms of serving dishes and decor, these will have to do! I still haven’t bought a new grater since my baking supplies were stolen, so you’ll just have to imagine this pie topped with chocolate shavings. The rich, cool chocolate with a smooth and fudgy texture will win you over if these photos don’t! I mean, just look at that fluffy organic cream topping (a.k.a. nourishing saturated fat!).
Blend, chill, eat. Be healthy. This takes all of 10 minutes to throw together and consume. It’s downright dangerous. Dessert doesn’t get more simple that!
Quick n’ Dirty Chocolate Pie
2-4 tablespoons organic heavy cream
1/3-1/2 cup erythritol, powdered, OR 3 tablespoons honey
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon good tasting pure stevia extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Powder erythritol (if using) in coffee grinder or Magic Bullet. Add heavy cream, honey (or erythritol), salt, ricotta, stevia, and vanilla to food processor. Blend for a couple minutes, until perfectly smooth. No lumps! Melt unsweetened chocolate on HIGH in microwave for 40 seconds. Stir, and melt chocolate in 15 second intervals until liquefied. Scrape chocolate into food processor and blend until thoroughly incorporated, with no streaks of chocolate visible. Taste filling, and add more stevia if necessary. Spread filling into a pie plate lined with plastic wrap. Chill until firm. Remove from pie plate using plastic wrap, and invert onto a flat surface. Invert again on to serving platter. Top with stevia-sweetened fresh whipped cream (3/4 cup), piped from a zip top bag with the corner cut. Grate 85% cacao chocolate over whipped cream if desired.