Before you even start, I know that key lime pie is totally not is season right now, I know! While everyone else is drowning in pumpkin and apple everything, I’m just reaching for a piece of the long gone summer, trying to hold on to my favorite warm weather dessert. I’ll admit that I’ve been meaning to make this pie ever since my cousin got married in Florida in August (I know, it’s been a few months..there were tacos to be eaten and stuff to be done!), especially since I hadn’t tried my hand at vegan key lime pie just yet. A lot of the recipes I found involved cashew soaking or just freezing the filling, both of which were just things I wasn’t really into. I love cashews in desserts, but for this one, I wanted to ensure that the filling was creamy and dreamy, rather than struggle with getting the cashews blended just right to make them meld into a creamy filling, which often happens when an impatient baker like myself doesn’t let the cashews soak for long enough. Coconut milk was also another option to make a vegan key lime pie, but sometimes I don’t want to buy my millionth can of coconut milk, I just wanted something different!
That’s when it hit me: yogurt! The more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea of using coconut yogurt as the base for the key lime pie filling, especially since it has a built in tartness that this pie would need. I can’t speak to if soy yogurt would work interchangeably with coconut yogurt, but it’s worth a try. Coconut yogurt does still have a good amount of fat, but it’s needed to make this pie indulgent without being heavy. As for the coconut crust, I would highly recommend keeping this instead of the traditional graham cracker crust. Again, I was partially lazy and didn’t want to make a special trip to While Foods for special vegan graham crackers (which can be a pain to track down anyway), and I know not everyone has ample access to a store with vegan graham crackers, so I wanted to make the crust easier. Shredded coconut serves as the base, but lends a bit of sweetness to the crust, while still providing a good, solid base for our tart filling. If you want to get fancy, whip up some coconut whipped cream and dollop it on top of each slice as you serve it. I’m thinking we should throw a wintertime luau complete with Mai Tais and this pie, are you in?
- For the crust:
- 2 3/4 cups shredded (unsweetened coconut)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- For the filling:
- 2 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (I used So Delicious variety, but I know Trader Joe’s carries a variety as well)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Juice of 2-3 limes (1/2 cup lime juice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a pie plate or tart pan and set aside.
- To make the crust: In a small bowl, stir together the shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla extract and flour. The mixture should stick together, but still be easy enough to press into a pan. Press the coconut mixture into the pie or tart pan, pressing the crust evenly into the sides and bottom of the pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until coconut starts to lightly brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
- To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut yogurt, corn starch, maple syrup, vanilla extract and lime juice.Pour whisked filling into the coconut crust and bake for 35-40 minutes. The crust should be a deep golden brown and the filling will be somewhat set. Allow pie to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours.