Monday, April 15, 2013

Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie


Gluten trials and the pie it made

Several months ago we put kiddo back on gluten-full foods to be able to run blood panels and do a
behavioral check list. We needed a solid 6-8 weeks, after 2 weeks I was ready to commit MYSELF.

Kiddo on the other hand was pleased as punch to be able to eat any old thing. Unfortunately it really made a years worth of effort getting him mentally in the right gluten-free frame of mind worthless.

Just about every facet of life was effected by the return of gluten. Medically, kiddo's reflux returned and was much worse than it had been in years. He was now waking in the night, sleep walking even. His appetite was decreased and sensory integration off the charts. In school his behavior and grades were steadily declining. At his annual appointment I was concerned about his wieght and behavior and the pedaitrician and I agreed it was time to move back to the arena of the Develpomental Pediatrician but we did head over to have all the blood panels ordered.

The following week kiddo had been sick and we were back in the pediatric office, he was down another 2 pounds. I emailed with his teacher at school to see his feelings about the grades and behavior declination and the diet change timeframe. He agreed, things really did change considerably when kiddo's diet changed. That was it, gluten was done.

Two weeks back on gluten and a weight check in with the pediatrician and kiddo is back up over a pound in weight. Behavior will take longer to see, but I am pretty sure that we will see the changes there soon as well.

The complaints came back too of course "mom you can't make everything I love gluten-free!"
Me: "Try me."
Kiddo: "Hmm... I have to think what I want more than anything in the world. Oh I know!!! Key Lime Pie! You can't make gluten-free Key Lime pie!"

Psh, kid.. give me something hard.

I knew I wanted to go with a graham cracker crust for this Key Lime pie, and wouldn't you know last week when the kiddos had been out of school I had gone to the ends of the Earth (ok... it was the ends of our county.. but honestly it was at least FIVE grocery stores!!!) to find some gluten-free graham style crackers for S'mores on our new fire pit. I did find one box... but then I nearly choked on my tongue and peed my pants simutaneously when I saw the $7.50 price tag. No thanks. I finally found Kinnikinnick's S'moreables and grabbed two boxes that day so I was sure I had enough left to make a pie crust.

Next was the limes. I happen to be a purist when it comes to Key Lime Pie. I really think Key Lime Pie needs to be made with... Key Limes, makes sense, no? What is that you say... you live no where near Key West? Neither do I. My best friend has this citrus tree and grew Key Limes for a while...
though I think possibly she may have killed that wee little Key Lime tree. Either way, I never profited a Key Lime from my Floridian friend. I do however buy them when I see them in the produce aisle and freeze the suckers. BUT and here is the but... squeezing the juice from those little guys is arduous work, take my advice here and supplement if you can with a little help! Believe me, its worth it in the end and you will have all the wonderful Key Lime tartness you want, with a little less effort.

Despite whether you do or do not use the bottled Key Lime juice, I do however reccomend that you have at least a handfull of Key Limes to be able to get some rind which adds an amazing depth to your pie! I use my trusty microplane to grate the Key Lime skin (JUST the very surface of it) into tiny bits that will go into the actually pie filling. Any extra that you have makes a wonderful garnish at the end as well.

Now, if you have been following the blog, you may have seen the last post here about my, err, incident. So, I highly recommend using a food processor to do your crust work, I actually bought one shortly after the... umm, ER visit.

The one thing that I have noticed after making a few of these graham cracker crusts is that some of them rise a bit and decrease the depth of the actual pie cavity. I am not sure about you, but I like a nice deep pie. (Somehow that sounds dirtier than I intended) So, to correct this problem, I have created a slight method that I call "pie shell nesting." When you pull the pre-baked crust out of the
Terrible pic, and not parchment, but just
to give you the idea
oven, if the crust looks a little shallower and want to correct it, first grab a square of parchment and press it into the cavity.Then grab a second 9" pie plate and press it firmly and EVENLY into the pie plate/crust that you just pulled from the oven. Allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes before removing the nested pie plate. When you removed it, twist it from side to side and it should slide free pretty easily. Then you have a nice deep pie shell to be able to pour your filling into!

Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie
The GF star of the Key Lime Pie!

20 Gluten-free Graham Crackers (Kinnikinnick S'moreables)
1/4 C Brown Sugar 
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted


1 1/2 Tbs. Key Lime Lemon Rind, grated
3/4 C Key Lime juice
3 large egg yolks
1 3/4 C condensed milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, blend the crackers until they are finely ground. (Alternately you could use a ziploc bag to crush them, but please for the love of Pete stay away from sharp objects! :) )
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add sugar and butter and mix until everything is well blended and looks wet.
4. Evenly press the mixture into a 9" pie plate.
5. Bake the crust in the pre-heated oven for about 8 minutes. If your crust has risen a bit too much, use the "pie shell nesting" method to give yourself a deep crust cavity. (see picture above)

6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the lime rind, juice, yolks and milk.
7. Mix on medium-high speed for about a minute.
8. Pour the contents into the prepared pie plate.
9. Bake pie for 15-20 minutes, until the filling no longer moves.


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