Key Lime Pie: Dairy-Free and Easy-Peasy

27 Mar

For as long as I’ve known my boyfriend, he’s been lactose intolerant. To be honest, I hadn’t known all that many lactose intolerant people before I met him. Yes, there was that one friend’s mom who always ordered her pizzas without cheese, and I thought that was unspeakably weird. But for the most part, my family members have stomachs of steel and don’t deal with food allergies (aside from Chase’s instant gag reflex if he ever so much as looks at a hot dog).

Back when I met H. those 6 years ago, he could eat what he described as “a little cheese.” And then he would just get “a little sick.” For years, I encouraged him to try Lactaid, a pill that helps your body digest lactose (I swear this isn’t an ad for Lactaid). He resisted, because (begin stereotype) men don’t like to admit when women are right (end stereotype).

As soon as he finally tried Lactaid, I’m telling you, he was a new man. All of a sudden it was pizza this and cheeseburgers that and once he even got ice cream at Jeni’s. But soon his Lactaid use started to worry me, and not just because the Lactaid packets look like little, tiny condoms and that’s a weird thing to whip out at the dinner table. I worried because he would take 3, 4, 5 or more Lactaid tablets with one meal. This seemed bad, perhaps even unhealthy. It also seemed like he was spending a lot of money on Lactaid.

So when he recently told me he was swearing off dairy, I was happy. I made the mistake of referring to this as a “dairy-free phase.”

“This isn’t a phase,” he corrected me. “This is a lifestyle.”

Okay, then! If you’re livin’ that dairy-free lifestyle, here’s a key lime pie for you and yours. Does it taste exactly like a “regular” key lime pie? No. It tastes like a pudding in a pie shell, because that’s exactly what it is. Also, I think you should know that as soon as I typed the words “pudding in a pie shell,” I sang “Turtle Power!” in my head. But anyway, pudding is never a bad thing!

You might be thinking to yourself, “Those look like regular limes, not key limes.” Well, you know what? Stop being so nitpicky.

Key Lime Pie
adapted from here

For the filling:

1/4 c. key lime juice
2 1/2 c. soy milk
1 c. sugar
5 Tbs. cornstarch
2 tsp. lime zest

adapted from Southern Food
6 tbsp butter, melted
24 graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.
Place about 24 graham crackers in a plastic bag. Roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Or use a food processor.
Measure 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs into a bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg to the graham crackers.
Add the melted butter.
Stir or blend together with your hands.
Press into the pie plate or other pan.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F. oven. Under no circumstances should you spill pie crust crumbs all over your kitchen floor. That is NOT a step. I certainly didn’t do it.

Whisk lime juice, sugar, soymilk, lime zest, and cornstarch together in a saucepan, then turn on medium heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thick and creamy. Allow to cool slightly then pour into the pie crust and chill until firm.

Notes: This was really sweet, which maybe you will like. But it was too sweet for me, so I will probably cut down on the sugar next time.

7 Responses to “Key Lime Pie: Dairy-Free and Easy-Peasy”

  1. annibloggt March 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    nice story, well-written🙂.. and the pie looks absolutely delicious!



  2. Terri August 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    Can or do you have to put a meringue on top of this??

  3. Rose September 12, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    I really love key lime pie! I finally found a dairy free version of this pie thanks to you.

  4. manstruth December 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Isn’t butter, you know – dairy?

    • heykerryann December 22, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Well, of course butter is dairy! But H’s lactose intolerance isn’t severe enough that the amount of lactose in butter affects him. If your lactose intolerance is that serious, then a non-dairy butter sub like Earth Balance would work! But I’m sure you knew that.

  5. Angela Shannon March 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I made today. It was pretty delicious! I topped with dairy free whipped topping. I would recommend adding more lime juice …. in my opinion it didn’t have enough lime flavor for my liking. Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

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