This recipe is my favorite among all the things I made while we were on vacation. Obviously, we rented a little beach house with a kitchen and I had a fantastic time cooking up all kinds of new recipes that I can’t wait to share with you! Since we were in Florida and it is one of my favorite desserts of all time (that I haven’t been able to have since the vegan switch), I decided a key lime pie was in order.
This comes from Isa Chandra’s fabulous blog, Post Punk Kitchen, and it was grrreat! Like Isa, I too used regular limes both because I couldn’t find key limes and because they’re difficult to zest, and it was no loss.
A few quick things to note before we get down to bidness:
First, this recipe uses agar flakes. If this is the first time you’ve worked with agar, don’t be scared! It is important to remember to follow the directions carefully though. Agar is temperamental, so it’s important to really follow the steps to a T.
Second, Isa notes that this recipe makes one 9 or 10 inch pie. I’d say it’s more solidly 10 inch. If you use a 9 inch pie plate as I did, you may not want to use all of the filling. Mine was a smidge overfilled.
Third, the base of the filling here is coconut milk. This does lend a hint of coconut flavor but certainly nothing overpowering. I’m not a fan of coconut and I was cool with it.
Finally, this is the third time I’ve made a vegan graham cracker crust. The first two times I used Health Valley Graham Crackers – which have been the only vegan brand of grahams I can find around St. Louis. Though they’re not bad by any means, they just don’t work well in a graham cracker crust, so this time, I went with plain ‘ol Nabisco Grahams.
This brand is found on PETA’s “Accidentally Vegan” list, but as you may recall, PETA doesn’t sweat trace amounts of animal ingredients in products. The presence of non-organic sugar in these makes them questionable – so if you’re adamant about that kind of stuff, these may not work for you. You should know that the difference in taste and texture is really significant though.
Vegan Key Lime Pie
Recipe Courtesy of Post Punk Kitchen
1 tbs finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups unsweetend almond milk, at room temperature
2 tbs agar flakes
1 16 oz can coconut milk, at room temperature
2 tbs tapioca flour (corn starch or arrowroot could work too)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs*
3/4 cup Earth Balance
*To make graham cracker crumbs, place graham cracker squares in a sealed plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin or grind graham cracker squares in a food processor. You’ll need 12 to 13 squares to make 2 cups of crumbs.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Oil your pie plate
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Turn off heat and stir in graham cracker crumbs
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared plate and bake for 5 min. Let cool on a baking rack
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, soak the agar in the almond milk for about 15 min.
- Mix coconut milk, tapioca, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl (Be sure the coconut milk is room temp so that it doesn’t mess with the agar when you add it to the pan)
- After soaking agar, turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Don’t let it boil over
- Once boiling, immediately reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 min, until agar is dissolved.
- Once dissolved (you can check by dipping in a tablespoon and seeing if there are any agar flakes visible), very slowly whisk in the coconut mixture and then the lime juice and zest. Adding it too fast will gel up the agar.
- Once added, whisk often for about 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened. If it isn’t thickening, turn up the heat just a bit, but don’t let it boil
- Once thickened, pour into your graham cracker crust and let cool on the counter for about a half hour, just so it isn’t steaming like crazy
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until fully set. Garnish with limes slices and some vegan whipped cream
Yield: One 10″ pie