A dairy free, deliciously creamy desert with a limey citrus kick. For me, it is all about the base, made with oats and free from artificial ingredients, you will be surprised at how easy this is to make. Some of the other ingredients may surprise you too!Fibro Food Fairy
Following a request from my lovely mother-in-law who was providing the family with a spectacular Easter Sunday feast I had to come up with a desert option that would not only taste great but that would also suit my dairy and gluten free requirements. Key lime pie must be one of my all-time favourites and before I went dairy free it was probably one of my signature dishes. The challenge was to create an equivalent non-dairy version of a recipe which is predominantly made from ingredients containing dairy. No easy task.
I have tried to create a dairy free cheesecake recipe in the past but have never quite been satisfied with the results. In my opinion, as I have alluded to the biscuit base, normally made from crushed digestives or an equivalent is one of the most enjoyable parts of this desert. However, dairy and gluten free biscuits tend to be sickly sweet and full of artificial preservatives and ingredients. Ultimately, I decided that it would be preferable to have a recipe that is free from any form of processed foods. That said, shop bought biscuits are a real convenience saving time and energy, so I also had to ensure that the recipe was “fibro friendly”, easy to make, requiring very little effort.
I have seen and tried recipes that use uncooked oats or other raw ingredients to create the base however I have found that with these recipes the results sadly led to the dreaded “soggy bottom” lacking any bite or texture. Inspiration number one, prepare a base using a simple, free from cookie dough recipe, effectively making one massive cookie. The process for testing this method was much enjoyed by both myself and Mr Food Fairy as the trial run was gobbled up in seconds.
The next challenge was to find a method for creating the key lime, cheesecake topping. I had used recipes in the past that use a date purée to provide a natural sweetness and smooth texture however dates, although tasty, are also brown and no one wants to see a brown key lime pie. Even after the addition of coconut milk I was left with a slightly lighter brown cheesecake, not very attractive.
Other recipes I had seen use avocado as the main ingredient, resulting in a vibrant green topping. Which may seem appropriate given the fact that the recipe is for a lime-based desert. However, I confess, and this is just my opinion whilst avocados can work in some desert recipes at other times, they can leave a slightly oily taste in your mouth and although I like colourful recipes, I find the vibrant green slightly off-putting.
More research revealed that soaked, blended cashew nuts are a great, non-dairy alternative to cream cheese or evaporated milk. I had used them in the past to make creamy savoury sauces and so why not use them in a desert recipe.
I decided to use gelatine to set the topping as this meant that the cheesecake would be fine to serve chilled and would not melt at room temperature. Many of the recipes I had researched rely on freezing the cheesecake in order to set the topping. However, this would mean that as soon as it thawed you would have a cheesecake puddle or you would have to keep on taking it in and out of the freezer, which could compromise quality and so not really ideal.
As I have said in the FIBRO FOOD FAIRY tips it would be wise to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the preparation and quantity of gelatine required. The same applies if using a vegan substitute.
So, although it took a while to perfect the recipe the result was a resounding success. Incredibly simple to prepare and enjoyed by everyone.
Free From Information:
• Dairy free
• Egg free
• Gluten free
• Soya free
• Refined sugar free
• Vegan option
It’s all about the base Key Lime Pie
A dairy free, deliciously creamy desert with a limey citrus kick.
- For the biscuit base:
- 200g coconut oil, room temperature
- 100g unrefined light muscovado sugar
- 200g gluten free porridge oats
- 100g rice flour or gluten free plain flour
- 2 level teaspoons ground ginger
- For the key lime topping:
- 1½ sheets gelatine or vegan substitute (see tips)
- 260g cashew nuts, soaked overnight
- 250g coconut cream
- 5 limes, zest & juice, reserve the lime juice to dissolve the gelatine
- 200mL full fat coconut milk
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- Sliced lime, grated lime zest or toasted coconut flakes (optional)
Soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of cold water overnight. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside until needed.
Preheat oven 140°C fan. Grease and line 20cm (8 inch) deep sided, loose bottom, round cake tin.
Measure the coconut oil and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat until a creamy consistency. Add the gluten free oats, flour and ginger and work them into the mixture. This can be done by hand, but it is more effective to use a mixer or food processor. Continue until you have achieved a slightly oily, cookie dough.
Press the dough into the base of the tin, making sure you get right into the edges and that you achieve an even distribution. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, approximately 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave in the tin and allow to cool down completely. Meanwhile, prepare your key lime topping.
Place the gelatine sheets of in a small bowl of cold water and leave to soften for a few minutes (see tips).
Add all the topping ingredients apart from the gelatine and lime juice to a food processor and blend until smooth. It will take some time for the cashew nuts to break down but stick with it and it will eventually come together.
Remove the gelatine from the bowl and squeeze out the excess water. Place in a small pan with the lime juice, bring to a boil and whisk to dissolve the gelatine. Remove from the heat and add to the cashew coconut cream, stirring quickly to combine.
Once combined pour the key lime topping over the cooled biscuit base. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or until set. Garnish with slices of lime, freshly grated lime zest or toasted coconut flakes.
FIBRO FOOD FAIRY TIP: In this recipe I have used quantities that make quite a thick base. Reduce the quantities and the cooking time of the base if you prefer a slightly lighter option. FIBRO FOOD FAIRY TIP: The preparation method and quantity of gelatine required will vary according to manufacturer.
So, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. I have used Dr Oetker platinum grade leaf gelatine; this can be substituted for a vegan equivalent if required. Again, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.