Yield: one 9-inch pie
“Back to Baking”, pp. 263
I have had a block of silken tofu in my fridge for a little while now because I was priming myself to do this recipe. One time I aimed to make it and bought a bunch of limes, but I waited too long and they became hard like little rocks and could not possibly be used. All this to say that I have been quite reluctant, once again, to try this recipe. I only recently started liking tofu, and only extra firm, in my actual food, so far be it from me to ever consider putting it in dessert. Especially as a person who is very much sensitive to the texture of certain foods, I could not envision putting soft squishy tofu in something that is meant to be sweet and delectable.
In any case, I bought a bunch of fresh limes once more and finally decided to make this key lime pie recipe. It was enjoyable to make actually, and the pie dough was simpler to make compared to others I’ve done before. It doesn’t require waiting times, so I did like that. The filling was just as straightforward to make. Since we are using a food processor to essentially blend everything together, it was much easier to prepare than other pie fillings. The longest part was really just zesting and juicing the limes. I did not find key limes so just used regular limes instead, and that seems to have worked just fine. After blitzing the pie mixture together and filling the pie, it went in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Ingredients for crust:
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
Ingredients for filling:
- 12 oz. (360 g) silken or soft tofu
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated key lime or lime zest
- ½ cup key lime or lime juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
I had some difficulty in determining when was the right time to take out the pie, as it clearly did not look done after the suggested 25 minutes. There was not even a jiggle to it at that point; it was still too fluid. So I kept it in the oven longer, checking every 2-3 minutes or so, until I thought that the jiggle resembled what I thought a custard pie should look like, hoping that it would eventually set properly in the fridge. Since I baked it for considerably longer than planned, the top of the crust did overbake a bit. It does not taste burned but those bits are definitely too dry. In hindsight I could have covered the edge with aluminium foil to protect it from burning, but at the time I was too focused on monitoring the jiggle. The pie looked nice when I took it out of the oven, with a green tinge to the custard-like filling. I was very curious to see what this pie would taste like!
After over 3 hours of cooling and chilling the pie, it was time to garnish it and give it a taste. I could not find fresh raspberries that weren’t ridiculously overpriced anywhere, so instead used some broken pieces of frozen raspberries that I had, sprinkled them around the pie in a sort of wreath and added some leftover lime zest that I didn’t use in the filling. I was happy with how it looked, but how did it taste? As I took a forkful, I reminded myself to stay open-minded and give it a chance. I was, frankly, shocked by the both the taste and texture. This key lime pie is tart and perfectly balanced by the addition of the sugar and the raspberry garnish. The texture is not unlike that of a custard pie, except that there are no eggs nor dairy, which I find truly impressive. Had I not known I would never be able to guess that there is soft tofu in this pie. Never. What a great secret ingredient! I very rarely make egg- and/or dairy-free desserts but this is truly a wonder. This pie is straightforward and easy to make, pretty, vegetarian-friendly and really delicious. It actually tasted better the next day somehow, as if everything had meshed together overnight. This is yet another reminder by Anna Olson to stay open-minded and try new things! Definitely give this key lime pie recipe a try if you like tart desserts and culinary surprises!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
- Stir the flour, oil, sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt together until it is a rough, crumbly texture. Press into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes, then cool while preparing the filling.
- Note: the dough will be very crumbly when pressing into the pan.
- For the filling, purée the tofu with the sugar, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour the lime mixture into the cooling crust and bake for 25 minutes, until there are a few bubbles visible just around the edge of the pie and the filling still has a little jiggle to it. Cool the pie to room temperature, then chill until set, at least 3 hours.
- To serve, garnish the edge of the pie with fresh raspberries.