I’ve done it. I’ve finally done it. It took long enough!
This crust, fellow dessert lovers, is the one. While traditional key lime pie has graham cracker crust, this one is made of ground almonds and white chocolate. Do you want to guess which crust is better?
If you guessed graham cracker, you are just plain wrong. This pie crust is just beyond all my wildest expectations and dreams. It’s such a perfect base for tart, creamy key lime filling. That’s what I get for thinking creatively!
You can look at gluten-free desserts in one of two ways. One way, they’re a lesser version of an original recipe, often higher in sugar and ultimately disappointing. I don’t truck with that. I never have, and I never will.
The other way makes much more sense. Use natural ingredients (the less processed the better), don’t add extra fat or sugar, and come away with a dessert that’s not trying to be a faded copy of its gluten-laded counterpart. In other words, change the script. Change the rules. Be inventive. It might involve more thinking up front, but it sure does pay off.
Whenever I eat key lime pie, I think about the first time I ever tasted it. I was all of 25, dating Kenny, and we’d gone on our first vacation together to Florida. Our rationale was that if we went to a town full of retirees, we’d be the hottest people there. And it kind of worked!
Our flight was massively delayed (we were dumb enough to go on December 26th), so when we finally got to the hotel, we were exhausted. All we had energy for was the hotel restaurant, which happened to be on the water. Not half bad, right? I ordered a margarita and a slice of key lime pie, my very first.
It was nothing short of magical. The whole day of delayed flights and missed connections just melted away. I was in the warm Floridian night air, staring at the man I was falling in love with, drinking a perfect frozen drink and eating the best pie ever. Since that night, key lime pie has been a favorite.
It makes perfect sense, then, that I make a key lime pie that Kenny can actually eat without getting an upset stomach. This crust is not only gluten-free, but it’s one of my favorite pie crusts this season. And you all know that I’ve made a lot of pie crust over the past month.
It’s pretty simple: you take ground almond or almond meal (make it yourself or buy a bag at Trader Joe’s for cheap) and mix it with a melted white chocolate and butter combo. Add in some brown sugar for caramelized goodness, and you’re golden!
The crust is a sweet base for the notoriously tangy filling. Key lime pie is typically a warmer weather dessert, but I like to get a taste of Florida as I’m baking pie after pie for Thanksgiving. It’s a refreshing yet unpredictable option for your holiday table. If you want to wow your GF-eating friends with a showstopper pie, this is the one!
Key Lime Pie with Almond White Chocolate Crust (GF)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups ground almond meal
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons key lime zest
1 cup key lime juice (you can use bottled)
4 egg yolks
2 cans (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and white chocolate for one minute. Stir. If not smooth, heat for 20 seconds more and stir again until smooth.
- Mix in the almond meal and brown sugar until the mixture is moist. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie pan, packing the crust in with the back of a measuring cup.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- While the crust is baking, make the key lime filling. Combine the zest, key lime juice, and egg yolks. Stir in the condensed milk and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes until set. Cool completely.
- When the pie is cool, drizzle the white chocolate over the top. Chill overnight. Cut into wedges and serve.