Several years ago I made my first Key Lime Pie. When I say I made my first pie… I mean that I made my first, my second…to my fifth Key Lime Pie. I may have perfectionism issues when I start a new recipe… possibly. So that winter we had Key Lime pie at every occasion until I got my recipe down. Everyone LOVED it. (they dreded the appearance of key lime pie)
Then we eliminated gluten, my kiddo didn’t think that I could possibly make key lime pie taste good AND be gluten-free, which he had decided was his hands-down favorite dessert ever. So I got back to work, mostly working on a crust because that was our gluten concern. Because he is on the spectrum, texture and taste are HUGE, so I AGAIN, made many a pie until we had one he was happy with. But… that was our Gluten-free Key Lime Pie.
This year, as citrus abounds, I decided it was time to get back to the drawing board and try to make a grain-free, processed anything-free pie. No problem, I can do this, I have dozens of key lime pies under my belt! So I started with a non-dairy condensed milk, since condensed milk was my base previously. I make my condensed milk very similarly to how Sunny of And Love it To makes it, but with honey. I used a nut based recipe I had for the crust and made a few variations and then did the filling just like I did with the Gluten-free Key Lime Pie.
I am not proud of what happend with the first and second effort of this pie and because of that there is no photographic evidence that they ever existed. The first pie literally looked like toxic waste, or Swamp Thing… in a pie plate. My kids, kind as they are, insisted that it didn’t look like toxic waste, and have no idea who Swamp Thing is. Maybe had they known, they would have thought “yeah, mom… it sorta does look like that.” But, they chose to try the pie regardless of its appearance and said it was “good.” I, on the other hand felt that it was a total and complete disaster on all fronts. My kids were simply sparing my feels… because Christmas is coming and the little buggers want to stay on my good side.
So back to the drawing board *sigh* but whatever, I have failed before (just not that badly) it develops character, right?
I decided to start with the crust, because the previous one sucked, big time and the crust is the foundation of the pie. Next I bailed on the condensed milk idea and went with a stove-top custard based filling instead of a baked filling with a little gelatin (we use Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin, Kosher, 16-Ounce Can (Single) ) Bingo. This time my pie looked more like a key lime pie and, thank goodness tasted like one too, minus the milk, gluten, grains and refined sugar. We topped it with a toasted meringue (always consider the use of raw egg whites carefully, a coconut whipped cream would work to top it too) and viola’! My kiddo called it “Stairway to Heaven Key Lime Pie…” I guess that means that its good!