Key limes are still in season! Hy-Vee and Fareway stores either carry them or they can special order them, and Walmart Supercenters and SuperTarget may have them in stock. This pie takes an investment of time and work, so give yourself a morning, afternoon, or evening and make it at least a few hours ahead so it has time to chill. It’s worth all the work though, and it would make a great alternative dessert for the Gluten-Free Cookout menu.
Filling adapted from Delicious Key Lime Pie recipe at Food.com (formerly Recipezaar). Crust adapted from Cooks Recipes. Egg white technique, “The New Safe Meringue,” found at OChef and originally from Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, by Alice Medrich.
Pecan Nut Crust
2½ cups pecans
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup butter or butter substitute, melted
Pulse first 3 ingredients in a food processor. Stream in butter and pulse to combine. Press onto bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Chill 35 to 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not overbake–nut crusts burn easily. Cool completely before filling.
Key Lime Pie Filling
1 tablespoon plain gelatin
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
½ cup key lime juice, strained (zest some of the limes before juicing)
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon grated lime zest (make extra for garnish, if desired)
1 cup heavy cream, whipped, or 2 cups (8 oz.) non-dairy whipped topping
Mix the gelatin, half of the sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks well. Add the lime juice and water to the egg yolk mixture. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the gelatin mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, just until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in lime zest.
Chill, stirring occasionally, until the mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.
In a large metal bowl, combine egg whites and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Place metal bowl over saucepan of boiling water at medium heat and stir often until mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat and beat egg white mixture on high speed until cool and mixture makes soft peaks. This may take 10 to 15 minutes. Fold beaten egg white mixture into gelatin mixture. Fold in whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping, reserving some for topping. Pour into the baked crust.
Chill until firm. Garnish with extra lime zest or lime slices, if desired.
Makes 16 servings (7 Weight Watchers points per serving; 6 points if made with non-dairy whipped topping).