November 19th, 2008

Latchkey Lime Pie

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Earlier this month Chad mentioned that he wanted key lime pie. And if you say something like that around me, you are going to get a key lime pie. Especially if you keep repeating it and staring at me. And following me around. So yeah, he got a key lime pie, or something like that. I don’t know where to find key limes right now, and those are too hard to zest anyway. Regular old limes worked just beautifully.

You can see that I used a store bought crust here, but when I am experimenting with a new recipe that has temperamental ingredients like agar, I don’t want to waste my precious energy on making a crust. Don’t judge me. Luckily, it worked out with the first shot. If it hadn’t I was planning on pieing someone with it. In any case, a graham cracker crust would be great choice, too.

The texture resembles a creamy panna cotta. There’s no tofu here, it’s a coconut milk base but the coconut flavor wasn’t strong enough to warrant a title change. The flavor is pucker your lips tangy, and will definitely satisfy the lime lover in your life. Remember to zest your limes before squeezing out the juice. It took me 8 small limes to get the right amount of everything, your mileage my vary.

Latchkey Lime Pie

Makes one 9 or 10 inch pie

1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
2/3 cups fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons agar flakes (or two teaspoons agar powder and skip the soaking step)
1 16 oz can coconut milk at room temperature
2 tablespoons tapioca flour (or try it with corn starch or arowroot – but I like tapioca best)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9 inch prepared pie crust

In a small sauce pan, soak the agar in almond milk for about 15 minutes. Bake your pie crust for 8 to 10 minuties, then remove from oven to cool.

In the meantime, mix together coconut milk, tapioca, sugar and vanilla. It’s really important that your coconut milk is at room temperature so that it doesn’t affect the agar when you add it to the pot.

After soaking agar, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Keep a close eye so that it doesn’t boil over. Immediately reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until agar is dissolved. If using powdered it will only take about 5 minutes to dissolve.

Once dissolved (you can check by dipping in a tablespoon and seeing if there are any agar flakes left), very slowly whisk in the coconut mixture and then the lime juice and zest. Adding it too fast will make the agar gel up, which you don’t want it to do just yet. Once added, whisk often for about 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened. If it isn’t thickening, turn the heat up just a bit, but you don’t want it to boil.

Pour into pie shell and let cool on the counter for about half an hour, just so that it isn’t steaming like mad. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until fully set. Garnish with lime slices. Serve with some vegan whipped cream, store bought or do the coconut whipped cream thing. (scroll down)

78 comments to Latchkey Lime Pie

  • Ashley

    How long does the coconut whipped cream hold up? I’d like to make it for Thanksgiving, but I’d also like to make it in advance.

  • Wow!! This looks exceedingly awesome. I’ve been wanting to try making a key lime pie with ages – now’s my chance. I am so looking forward to trying this. Looks delicious.

  • Okay, so here’s a question for you. In baking and cooking, how interchangeable do you judge agar-agar and arrowroot to be? Is one better for certain applications than others, or is it 6 of one and a half-dozen of the other?

    Also, citrus is delicious. And I have a bunch of an early variety Arizona lemons left after making thumbprint cookies. Mayhaps this pie will be their final resting place.

  • hurray!! i love key lime pie!

  • IsaChandra

    Agar and arrowroot are not interchangeable at all. Agar is akin to a gelatin, arrowroot is a starch. In this recipe the tapioca (or arrowroot) is being used to thicken the filling and make it creamy and the agar is being used to set the filling.

    I believe the coconut cream needs to be used as soon as the can is opened.

  • Your pie looks scrumptious Isa!

  • Jessica

    I know I have seen key limes at Fred Meyer although I don’t know if they have them right now. I’m looking forward to trying this out. I love citrusy pies.

  • I My Dog I want that pie and I want it now! (I kinda deserve it, right, being injuried & all).

  • Oooh, this is calling my name all over again. And look: a holiday! An excuse!!!
    I’m just gobsmacked there’s no tofu in there, and you can BET I’m going to give this a shot. Oh, man, do I love key lime pie! Thanks for this.

  • Woooow, I love key lime pie, this sounds fantastic!

  • Not related: There seemed to be a vegan chef-judge on Top Chef last night?

  • IsaChandra

    Danielle – I tivo’ed Top Chef, I can’t wait to see it!

  • Jean S

    Uwajimaya (in Beaverton) usually has Key limes. Sometimes Trader Joe’s has them. Worth a phone call before you make the drive….

  • communistdaughter

    i love you for this. i’d love you even more if you made lemon meringue pie.

  • sawdust and diamonds

    This looks so awesome! I’ve been craving a vegan key lime pie for ages.

  • Did someone say coconut milk? Gimme!!

  • DANG! This sounds fabulous. I may have to get over my agar fear (agar-o-phobia?!) & make this.

  • Michele

    Trader Joe’s definitely has key limes. Picked up some
    a couple of days ago

  • Ziba

    Have this cooling now–love a key lime pie. When are you supposed to add the lime juice? I added it in w/the coconut milk and hope I haven’t screwed it up!

  • Arien

    This is so awesome. My mom wants to make a vegan key lime pie for Thanksgiving, and we were going to use the filling for the Veganomicon lemon bars–but this is even better. Hurray!

  • IsaChandra

    Ziba, whoops! Sorry about that direction snafu. Whisk in the lime juice right after the coconut milk stuff.

  • i have waited for a pie like this my whole life.

  • Ziba

    Thanks, Isa! The pie was delish!

  • Rachel

    Yay! Chad must have read my mind. I have been craving this lately. Nom-nom. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • Atom and Timi

    Hello Ms Isa,

    We made your latchkey lime pie yesterday and it was forking scrumptious. One thing it might be worth adding to the recipe instructions is that the pie filling doesn’t go completely thick when you boil it, only slightly thicker. Then after refrigeration it sets perfectly and ends up just how you’d expect/hope. We had a moment of thinking we’d done something wrong when we poured the filling in the pie crust and it seemed too thin, like it was never gonna set. But it did. And all was well. And we were satiated.

    Love and Hugs


  • YUM!! Mmmm coconut whipped cream thing.

  • IsaChandra

    Atom and Timi,
    Thanks for the feedback! You are right, I will add that little tidbit to the directions. But not this second because I am suer lazy.

  • I know my reading comprehension skills are lacking, but what do you do with the zest?

  • For the record, the zest part was not there before. Now it is. I am not crazy. Also, this pie is crazy good.

  • IsaChandra

    you’ve gone mad.

  • reachingfortheroots

    thanks for the note about agar flakes vs. agar powder and not needing to soak the powder. i learned this the hard way making vegan lemon bars (which are, by the way, A-Maz-Ing!).

  • Kevin

    Thank you for this recipe, I am definitely going to give it a try. I have reduced my meat in take the past few months and after I graduate (June) from college I think I will make the leap to full blown vegan. I’ve noticed that I don’t miss meat that much, I’d rather have some roasted bell pepper soup or something!

    Anyway, I love Key Lime Pie’s so I will give this a whirl for the holidays when I return home to lovely Portland.

  • You can’t get key limes in this country, only one type of limes (and limequats maybe once a year). How different are they from normal limes?

  • […] been slobbering over this lime pie at PPK Blog ever since it was posted. I bought the limes. They sat in the fridge. They spoiled. I […]

  • Hey Isa,
    I just made this today and it was wonderful! Thanks so much. I was especially psyched because Key Lime is my dad’s most favorite pie. I’ve made a couple of vegan ones in the past, which relied on tubs of Tofutti… which I find somewhat grody. So, I was totally stoked on this recipe! and the results are awesome! I actually made 7 mini pies, and used a graham cracker crust. One small thing, I was a bit worried about the lack of thickening, so I added a slurry of 1 tbsp almond milk and 1 tbsp kudzu at the end, and added it into the overall mixture. Wonderful. Dad was happy. We were all happy. 🙂

  • Miriam

    Hi, I see from your comments you were going to be making a gluten free Thanksgiving – any chance of getting those recipes? 🙂

    -gluten free fan in Denver

    (my nonvegan boyfriend bought me two of your books for Valentine’s Day and we are having fun making gluten free versions of many of your recipes!)

  • […] was Purely Decadent soy ice cream with Latchkey Lime Pie, from a recipe of Isa Chandra Moskowitz at Post Punk Kitchen. I actually made it last night, but it finished too late for me to try it. I used a graham cracker […]

  • Esther

    I just made this. It tastes *amazing*. Perfect for my non-vegan but extremely lactose intolerant mother for my mother’s day tomorrow!

    2 notes – I echo whoever s(really only a little bit thicker than at first) when you pour it into the crust. I was sure it wasn’t going to set up properly and that I had somehow messed it up, but 3 hours later – it’s great!

    2nd – Do you use *all* fresh lime juice. I ran out of limes and filled in with some bottled juice, and can tell it would be so much better with fresh.

    Thank you!!!!!

  • […] Comment on Latchkey Lime Pie by Esther […]

  • Honey Mustard

    It’s such a jungle out there, so many pies you don’t know just which one to choose. So we chose The World’s Greatest Key Lime Pie From Kutchie’s Key West. With their 30-year track record, how could we go wrong? They Were the Best Pies Ever. We definitely be getting Kutchie’s Key Lime Pies In The Future. Kutchie’s Pies…Rock!!!

    Honey Mustard, Knoxville..Tenn

  • Judy

    Does the almond milk impart a hazelnutty taste to the pie at all? I love almonds, and just about anything made from them, but have been very disappointed with almond milk, as it tastes more like hazelnuts to me – and that’s NOT a flavor I enjoy. Thanks in advance!

  • Vasilisa

    Could you possibly replace the Almond Milk with soymilk here? Tryin’ to please my nonvegan family, and I’ve not been able to find any Almond Milk in Saint Petersburg (GO RUSSIA). Could you possibly, also, make your own Almond Milk if it’s nessesery?

  • Vasilisa, you can make your own almond milk, and it’s really easy! Soak raw almonds in water (1:2 almonds to water ratio) overnight, then blend and strain out the almond bits with cheesecloth. You can add vanilla extract or sugar/agave/stevia to your mix if you want a flavored version.

  • zeebo

    I made this last night and it was excellent. Love the texture. For a crust I used the raw crust from the raw strawberry cheesecake here on PPK, also I used a spring form pan because I can’t find my pie pan. I will definitely be making this again…maybe next time I will be able to find Key Limes.

  • omg! You are a genious! I was so excited when I found a recipe without nasty tofuitti or tofu.

    I just tried this recipe tonight, and it is amazing! I didn’t have any agar so I used a tad bit more tapioca flour. I made mini pies using a muffin pan, and after freezing the pies, the filling was able to thicken up.

    Next time I will try it with agar if I am able to find it.

    Thank for sharing your recipe!

  • Olivia

    Dude, you saved my life. My boyfriend wants a vegan key lime pie for his birthday and I Googled it and was pleased to see you posted one. I definitely trust you with dessert and I’ll be making this! Thanks!

  • Paulie

    This worked out perfectly! Although I ended up with lots of extra filling, so I might reduce the recipe a bit next time. The filling was also super super firm–maybe too firm?–so I might try a little less agar as well next time. The taste was incredible! Thanks!

  • Ohhh, I so want to try this, but am deathly allergic to almonds. What would you recommend instead of almond milk?

  • Katy

    I didn’t have almond milk so I used soy milk and it is AMAZING. Oh my god. I’ve never had key lime pie (not a big thing in Australia) so this is my first one. It tasted incredible – I can’t imagine it being better – so in future I’ll definitely use soy milk and not bother with almond milk. Yum

  • Janae

    I’d like to make this for a friend, but she doesn’t eat cane sugar. Could you use maple syrup to substitute? I’m worried about the pie setting correctly…

  • Laura

    For those that can’t find key limes (or don’t want to juice them), the brand Nelly and Joes is great. I used to use it for regular key lime pies and tried it with this one too. Was delish.

  • pbbnancy

    After a two hour hunt for agar, I decided that this keylime pie would have to be made without it. it was delicious!! The flavoring was just perfect – a bit on the liquidy side due to the lack of agar, but it was delicious as it was nonetheless. I made this with the grahamn cracker crust recipe from the pumpkin cheese cake and despite numerous attempts at displaying some sort of will power, I was unable to stop myself from eating the crust and the keylime filling while it was still warm. Luckily there was still enough for a cold batch of keylime cupcakes, but just barely. Isa, thank you for sharing this recipe! Half of my cookbook shelf is filled with your cookbooks, but I think this recipe has just convinced me that I also need to get pie in the sky.

  • Kathy Haag

    This was great! Will definetly make it again. I used a walnut/oatmeal crust and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing. I have dairy, soy, and egg allergies in my house, so this was great to find!

  • Kathy Haag

    janae, I am also allergic to Cane sugar. I buy organic beet sugar from Hain. You can get it from online. I also use agave without too much trouble in some recipes as well.

  • Anne O

    I’m glad someone mentioned Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice. A must for making this pie! I live in the south where we do get key limes in the regular grocery stores, but I still skip juicing all those tiny limes and always use Nellie & Joe’s. Key limes have a much nicer taste than big limes, so I would recommend getting the juice instead of using regular limes. I often find it in the baking aisle with the pie fillings.

  • Anne O

    And THANK YOU so much for this recipe! Key lime pie is my absolute favorite and I’m so glad that since going vegan at home (in the south!!) I can still make this delicacy. I mean, I really really adore this pie. I’ve seen recipes with tofu cream cheese, but no thanks. Real key lime pie certainly doesn’t have cream cheese. I knew there had to be a way to substitute coconut milk for condensed milk. 😀

  • […] raspberry chz cake, vegan caramel beer pretzel tart, vegan chocolate smore pie, and a FAILED vegan key lime (I need to get better at agar agar, but i think i know what to do next time).  I also made […]

  • […] recipe for this pie is here, but it doesn’t include the pie crust. The pie crust is also in the book, called Graham […]

  • Anne O

    I am sad to say I have made this twice now and the texture is unbearable, like stiff Jell-O. Any tips for what I might be doing wrong?

  • […]  Thankfully, Isa exists.  I should have figured that my Google searches would bring me to her.  Her recipe calls for agar and tapioca starch to thicken the almond and coconut milk based custard filling. […]

  • I have made MANY of your recipes and they are all fantastic! But this one is super special & has to be one of the best desserts ever (vegan or non- vegan). I usually can’t help tinkering with recipes to make them a bit more my own – but – with this one I follow your instructions exactly and it is just perfect. Ok – tonight when I made it I did add a little twist. I sprinkled some raspberries on the bottom before pouring the filling into the crust – they floated throughout & made it so very pretty & fancy!

  • […] who knew you could use this versatile fruit make dairy-free milk cheddar “cheese” or a key lime pie? Just don’t skip the agar flakes like I did or your “cheese” will never […]

  • Melissa W

    My non vegan boyfriend loves Key lime pie so I surprised him with this! The texture was spot on perfect and it held together with no problem. He loved it, thanks so much Isa!

  • Key lime pie! One of those things on my to do list, thanks.

  • Momma

    Great flavor. You can’t taste the coconut, just the tart lime. This will be my go-to key lime pie recipe! Working with the agar powder was easier than the flakes. I sweetened to taste, adding a little more sugar because that’s how I like it. Like others mentioned, don’t worry if it is very liquidy when you first pour it in. Because the agar works as a gelatin it will firm up fine.

  • Joy

    Can you use light coconut milk, or does it have to be the full fat kind?

  • Jennifer

    I get his post is super old so I hope someone sees it. I ,are this and I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong. The pie has cooled and instead of creamy it’s really firm. It’s tastes fine but has a horrible consistency

    • JJ

      Hi Jennifer! I’ve made this recipe COUNTLESS times! (I’m Floridian) So you may have cooked all if it a little too long at the last step. Or you might not have used the 16 oz of coconut milk (my cans are only 13.5 oz from Trader Joes). Did you use Tapioca Starch or Corn Starch? Corn tends to make it thicker than Tapioca, I’ve found…

  • JJ

    Hi Jennifer! I’ve made this recipe COUNTLESS times! (I’m Floridian) So you may have cooked all if it a little too long at the last step. Or you might not have used the 16 oz of coconut milk (my cans are only 13.5 oz from Trader Joes). Did you use Tapioca Starch or Corn Starch? Corn tends to make it thicker than Tapioca, I’ve found…

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