A couple of months ago, my husband planned a lovely getaway weekend in Santa Cruz for my birthday, where we went to my favorite place: Cafe Gratitude (although full disclaimer, the one in Santa Cruz has now split from the LA ones!). Either way, it was the perfect birthday treat with raw, living food to make me feel satisfied, and make my belly very happy. I had a delicious raw key lime pie, and it made me realize that I have never published my favorite version here on the blog. That had to be rectified right away!
Let be honest right away: this is a fake key lime pie, as I actually don't use key limes for this version. Key limes are more tart with a floral touch to the flavor. They are also smaller, so it takes more work to get the juice out, and the zest off - but it is totally worth it. Please do feel free to use key limes instead, if you can find them! I have found it hard to get my hands on them for all the times I crave key lime pie, so I use regular ones instead, and you can, too! Also, this key lime pie is clearly not made with condensed milk like traditional recipes. Instead I use avocado. Yes, you read that right! Avocado is already green, and makes the perfect companion to the limes. If you don't think avocado can be part of a dessert, then please go try this dreamy chocolate mousse to change your mind. Except for my husband, I can never change his mind with this dessert. He calls this "sweet guacamole" :-)
I make these into small individual key lime pie bites by using silicone mini muffin cups, but you can absolutely use a spring form pan to make a big key lime pie.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Setting time in fridge: 4 hours
Makes 18 pies:
For the crust:
- 3 dates
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- ¾ cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (make your own!)
- pinch of sea salt
For the filling:
- 3 medium sized ripe avocado
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp lime zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
For the topping:
- coconut chips or desiccated coconut
- 2 limes, zest and then sliced
Start making the crust by pulsing all crust ingredients in a food processor until they resemble bread crumbs. When you pinch the mixture, it should stick together. If not, add a little more lime juice one spoon at a time.
Use mini muffin cups, the silicone ones are best for this recipe. You need 18 cups. Drop a spoon full of crust mixture into each until it is equally distributed.
Then starts the hard work: press down the crust firmly into the cup, making sure the sides are completely lined with crust mixture. Also make sure the bottom of the pie crust isn't too thick. You want enough space to put plenty of filling in there! Place the crusts into the fridge until they are ready to be filled.
Make the filling by blending all the filling ingredients on high in a food processor. Do a little taste test, and a little dance, because this is the bomb!!!
Grab your crusts, and fill them with the filling, one big spoonful at a time. Dab the filling down with the back of the spoon to make sure it doesn't stick out of the crust. And if it does, that's ok too because it will still taste amazing!
Before you put the pies back in the fridge, cut little squares of parchment paper, and place them on each pie. This will keep them from going brown, and you can keep the pies in the fridge for at least 4 days.
Keep the pies refrigerated at least for 4 hours before serving. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle some lime zest, small slices of lime or coconut on top, and you are ready to impress everyone!
Yummy yummy in my tummy!