mini gluten-free key lime pies




My husband once told me that his favorite pie is Key Lime Pie. I think Key Lime Pie is very Florida. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I didn't know much about Florida, so I really never understood what Key Lime Pie was all about. It sounds pretty fancy. Not just lime. Key lime. (Those are those tiny limes, right?) Yeah, I really didn't know much about Key Lime Pie until I made these... and, as it turns out, Key Lime Pie is really one of the easier pies to make. And, it uses a graham cracker crust which makes it especially easy to convert to GF. Yay! 

Sooooo, back to the story. I filed my husband's pie comment away in my brain and in the middle of our 4th or 5th Nor'easter this winter, his words drifted back to me. I decided to try to make a Key Lime Pie. I'd make my husband happy and maybe, if I was lucky, my tropical baking would drive the crazylong winter we've been having away.

The thing is though, I'm really into bite-sized and mini desserts lately. So, I didn't just want to make a pie pie. I wanted to make mini pies. I baked my first batch in a regular-sized cupcake tin and they turned out amazingly. But, they weren't quite bite-sized enough. You needed a fork. They'd be perfect for a very modern coffeehouse somewhere cold and chic like Stockholm. Hygge. So, after a few good batches at this size, I decided to go smaller still for an event at school. I baked them in a mini cupcake tin to make them truly bite-sized... and they were absolutely delicious. Party caterers would do right to offer these to their clients.

I tried these with two different brands of gluten-free graham crackers-- Pamela's and Schar. I HIGHLY recommend the Schar over Pamela's. The Schar graham cracker is lighter and more like a gluten graham cracker. I found the Pamela's to be too buttery. I actually had to dab the extra butter out of the dough before baking. It still tasted great, but it was an annoying second step.

Have a summer cocktail party coming up? These in 3-bite or 1-bite sizes would be incredible. If they were delicious in the middle of a Nor'easter, imagine what they'd be like poolside. Just imagine. Poolside... ugh, it has been a REALLY long winter. Make these. Imagine you're in Florida. It will be warmer some day. Right?  

Mini Gluten-Free Key Lime Pies (serves 16 if baked in a regular-sized cupcake tin)

  • 1 box of Schar Gluten Free Honeygrams
  • 6 TBSPs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4oz full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can full-fat sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • lime slices & raspberries for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter gently in the microwave or on your stovetop. As the butter is melting, add entire box of graham crackers to your food processor and blend them up until the crackers have been turned into crumbs. Add crumbs, melted butter and granulated sugar to a medium bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula until fully combined and the mixture looks like wet, coarse sand.

Line a cupcake tin with the liner of your choice. You'll make about 16 pies, so you'll need 2 tins. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the graham cracker crumb mixture into each liner. Using your fingers or the bottom of a water glass, press the crumb mixture down tightly. Bake filled cupcake liners for 5 minutes.

While crusts are pre-baking, add the cream cheese to your stand mixer and whisk on high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to medium-high and add egg yolks. Pause the mixer every now and then to scrape down the edges of your mixer bowl. Return the mixer to high speed and add the sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. Mix until fully combined.

Pour the key lime filling evenly on top of the pre-baked graham cracker crusts that are still in the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes or so, just until the pie centers are only slightly jiggly. It is not a huge deal if you bake until firm-- it will still taste good-- but it won't be quite as decadent and creamy as if you keep the center slightly jiggly. Don't worry... the egg yolks will NOT be raw.

Allow the pies to cool in the cupcake tins. Once completely cool, carefully remove the mini pies from the cupcake tins and refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours. When you're ready to serve the pies, gently peel the cupcake liner off each pie and top with a thinly sliced piece or lime and a fresh raspberry. These are best served cold.

If you choose to try to make these bite-sized, you'll need to reduce the amount of crumb crust and topping you add to each cupcake liner-- obvs. Bake for approx 8-10 minutes.