Growing up in Georgia, and spending so much time in Florida, I never realized how regional of a dish Key Lime Pie actually is. Since moving to California, I have not seen it on a menu even once, and both key limes and key lime juice can be hard to find out here. I went to at least 5 different grocery stores before finding one bag of almost juiceless key limes. I then proceeded to juice each tiny one by hand, but it was worth it all in the end! This key lime pie is so luscious and creamy that nobody would ever guess it’s made mostly out of nuts and avocado! No eggs, cream, or gelatin in this recipe! I also chose to leave out cane sugar, and simply sweetened the pie with agave and dates. Despite how (relatively) healthy this key lime pie is, it tastes just as decadent and delightfully zesty as its traditional southern counterpart, with macadamia and coconut in the crust just to add to the tropical flavor.
For the Crust:
- 1 cup roasted and salted Macadamia nuts
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut
For the Key Lime Layer:
- 2 1/2 cups cashews that have been soaked in water overnight
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons key lime juice
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream Layer:
- 1 can full fat coconut milk. This is an ingredient easily found in the Asian food section of any grocery store, my favorite brand is Thai Kitchen because of the textural consistency (make sure to chill the can overnight first)
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- In a large food processor or a blender combine the macadamia nuts, dates and coconut. Pulse until it finally becomes a sticky, homogeneous mass. Press the mixture in an even layer onto the bottom of an 8″ round spring-form pan (a regular pie pan will work fine too). Put aside in the refrigerator.
- Next, in a high powered blender, combine the pre-soaked cashews, the avocado, agave nectar, key lime juice, coconut oil, and vanilla. Blend on high speed until its super-creamy, this might take up to ten minutes. Pour the key lime/cashew mixture over the crust and let chill in the fridge, covered, for at least six hours.
- Once the key lime layer has cooled off (it will probably be hot when it comes out of the blender) you can open your chilled can of coconut milk. Flip the can upside down and open it from the bottom, the idea here is separate the translucent liquid from the white cream that floated to the top of the can when you chilled it. Usually the liquid is easily poured off and you’ll be left with only cream in the can. This cream is what you’ll use (you can save the liquid for cooking or smoothies later). Whip this coconut cream with a whisk or an electric mixer with a little agave to taste and pour onto the pie in an even layer.
- Garnish with some key lime zest, key lime slices, or fresh berries. Enjoy!