Top | Pies and Tarts, Crisps and Crumbles

Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, this is a recipe I've made many times to rave reviews. Though I call it "Key lime pie," that's only to refer to the style of pie made popular by this name; you can use any kind of limes you like, or even a mixture of limes and lemons. To make a gluten-free crust, I substitute gluten-free gingersnaps and almonds for the traditional graham crackers; this yields more of a chewy, rather than a crumbly, texture.


    1. 4 tsp. grated lime zest, from 3 to 4 regular ("Persian") limes
    2. 4 large egg yolks
    3. 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    4. ½ cup freshly squeezed and strained lime juice, from the 3 to 4 zested limes
    1. 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    2. 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
    3. 1 cup finely ground gluten-free gingersnaps, such as the Mi-Del version
    4. ½ cup finely ground almonds (with skins is fine)
    1. ½ pt. whipping cream
    2. 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar


    1. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the zest with the egg yolks for a couple of minutes, until smooth and tinted light green. Stir in the condensed milk, then the juice. Whisk until smooth, then set aside to thicken.
    2. Make the crust: Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt the butter; set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, place the sugar, cookie crumbs, and ground almonds. Add the melted butter and stir until mixed together. Tip the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, then press the crumbs along the bottom and up the sides of the pan with your hands; to make sure the crust is even, go over the crumb-mixture with the bottom of a mixing cup, pressing the cup firmly against the crust. Bake for about 15 minutes, until fragrant and almost firm. Cool at room temperature on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
    3. Bake the pie: Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 15 to 17 minutes; the edges will be set and the center just set (the pie will continue to set as it cools). Cool to room temperature on a rack, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until chilled through.
    4. Serve the pie: In a medium bowl, whip the cream into very soft peaks. Add the sugar, then whip a little more. I personally like a not very sweet, loose rather than stiff, topping of whipped cream; feel free to add more sugar and/or whip cream longer for desired taste and look. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.


    I have some cute little pie pans, 3 inches across, that I sometimes use to make three small pies instead of one large (very popular with the kids). If you end up using smaller pans, just check earlier to make sure you don't overbake either the crust or filling.