Key Lime Pie – Vegan + No Bake
Ooooh limes! We love you so much. You smell of Mexican summers, gin and tonics and lime-scented shortbread biscuits from Miami (I just so happen to have a recipe for those here). When my husband went vegan back in January, I was fully expecting him to stick it out for a month then return to a vegetarian diet. Not that I doubt his willpower, but he really did enjoy cheese. I have been totally impressed by his dedication however, and as his first vegan birthday rolled around in April I started to think about what yummy treat I could make for him. He will choose cookies and pies over a cake any day, and I usually make him one of his all-time faves, Key Lime Pie. I’m willing to have a go at ‘veganising’ just about anything, so I was keen to give this a bash. I had huuuuge success with my Toffee Apple Cheesecake last year (utilising a raw cashew base) and I based my key lime pie on that. It worked so well and he LOVED it! This pie is tangy, creamy and sweet with a delicious crumbly biscuit base (loads of oat-based biscuits are ‘accidentally’ vegan). Best of all, being a no-bake pie, it is easy to make and a great dessert for the summer – who wants to fiddle about with a hot oven on a sunny day?
You will need an 8″ springform tin, oiled and lined. You will also need a high-speed blender to process the cashews.
200g cashews, soaked overnight
4 limes – you’ll need the zest plus 125ml juice
175ml non-dairy milk (I like almond or oat for this)
125g syrup – use maple, golden, rice or agave – whichever you prefer
75g refined coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 small avocado
For the biscuit base:
200g HobNobs or similar oat biscuits (most are vegan, check packet)
75g Stork, the foil-wrapped block (try Earth Balance in the US) or coconut oil – melted and cooled slightly
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. You’ll need to leave them to soften overnight or at least 6 hours. (If you’re short of time, cover with boiled water and leave to soak for about 2-3 hours). They will swell up quite a bit so allow enough room. When they are ready, rinse, drain and set aside. Zest and squeeze the limes (you’ll need 125ml of the juice) and set that aside too.
For the biscuit base: Process the biscuits until fine then pour in the melted Stork or coconut oil. Blitz again until it clumps, then transfer to your prepared tin. Use your hands or the back of a spoon to evenly distributed the mixture then flatten tightly. Pop it in the freezer (or fridge if you haven’t much space) while you get on with the cheesecake.
In a blender, place the drained cashews, milk, syrup, melted coconut oil, avocado and lime juice and zest (reserve a heaped tablespoon of zest for sprinkling at the end). Blend on a high speed for a couple of minutes (depending on your blender – I use a Vitamix) until silky smooth and creamy. You will probably need to scrape down the sides a few times to make sure nothing is missed.
Pour the mixture on to the biscuit base and place in the fridge overnight or at least 5 hours. It will firm as it cools, and the longer it is cooled, the better. Once it has set nicely, sprinkle with the reserved lime zest and serve. This pie also benefits from being frozen. I like to firm it up in the fridge, slice and store the slices in the freezer. They only take about 20-30 minutes to defrost and the texture is amazing!
Summer on a plate – you’re welcome!