Here it is. My boyfriend’s very favorite Melissa-made food.
I seriously think that the official moment he fell in love with me was the first bite he ever took of this vegan key lime pie. At that moment, I knew I hit recipe gold. This pie could solve all of life’s problems. Berney has a bad day at work – make the pie. Berney does a good job at work – make the pie. Berney likes food and I feel bored – make the pie. Berney gets mad at me for running out of gas in my car and I need him to rescue me, even though he’d told me the previous day to go fill my tank – make the pie. That last one actually did happen in the not-so-distant past…but we don’t need to talk about that.
What we DO need to talk about is the fact that this vegan pie is UH-mazing. If I remember correctly, it only took an afternoon for Berney to make half of that very first pie disappear.
This week I made the pie for a different reason than the ones listed above: Berney and I celebrated our 16 month anniversary. Not exactly a big enough milestone for real presents, but totally worth making a pie for. But who am I kidding? This pie is probably better than any gift I could’ve bought Berney. It’s THAT good.
Now let’s get down to it. The base of the pie is a homemade, just-crumbly-enough graham cracker crust, with just a hint of citrus mixed in. The pie filling itself is rich and creamy, yet somehow is still light and refreshing. And so very lime-y. I know it’s fall and we’re supposed to be doing all things pumpkin and cinnamon, but this pie is timeless. Spring, summer, fall, winter, that extra leap year day in February, whatever. This pie fits in anywhere.
I’m calling this a no-bake pie because technically the pie itself isn’t baked. The crust recipe that goes along with this pie IS baked for 7-10 minutes, which hardly counts as anything. And depending on how you go about the crust business, it could be totally no-bake. You could certainly skip the homemade crust part and get a pre-made one from the store. But disclaimer: it’s worth it to have a homemade crust. However, life does get busy and sometimes convenience wins. Just be careful; you need to have a good quality crust in order to have a good quality pie, so choose wisely.
For the filling, there are two pieces of kitchen equipment you’ll need. A food processor and a small cooking pot. Basically the directions can be summarized by saying that you put all the ingredients into the food processor at some point and blend. Sure, there is a specific order to adding the ingredients, and you use the cooking pot for about 2 minutes, but everything ends up in the food processor within about 15 minutes. Easy peasy. The hardest part of the entire recipe is waiting for the pie to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours…
So now you know how to respond to anything you encounter in life – good or bad or somewhere in between – make this pie. I’m serious. Works every time. Everything just suddenly makes sense when this pie exists in your world.
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 teaspoon agar powder
- 8 oz. vegan cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 12 oz. key lime soy yogurt (or lemon, if you can't find key lime)
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder dissolved in 1/2 cup lime juice
- zest of one large lime
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12-14 full graham cracker sheets)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- zest of one small lemon
- 6 Tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9" springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and lemon zest. Add the melted butter and mix until well-combined.
- Press mixture into the bottom and partway up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Make sure the crumb mixture is evenly distributed to ensure consistent baking.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely before filling.
- While your crust cools, make the pie filling. In a small saucepan, soak the agar powder in the 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in your food processor, combine the cream cheese and sugar, and process for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the yogurt and continue to process for an additional minute.
- Once the agar has soaked for 10 minutes, turn your stove on medium-low heat. While stirring constantly, heat the mixture until it barely reaches a simmer. Add in the lime juice/dissolved arrowroot powder mixture, stirring continuously. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, then remove from the heat.
- With the food processor running, pour the agar/arrowroot mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Process until well-blended and smooth.
- Pour filling into your prepared pie shell. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to allow the filling to set.
- Leftover pie can be covered and stored in the fridge for several days.
- One 9" pie