Every year for Frank's birthday rolls around and I try to come up with a better (and healthier) version of his favorite. Of course, he couldn't just love cake like the rest of us - in fact, he doesn't like cake at all (blasphemy, I know!) His favorite - is lemon meringue pie. A dessert, that although it isn't very difficult to make, does take a lot of time, and is packed with sugar - and while I've made a few versions using other various unrefined sugars, its still not exactly the best thing. That said, over the years, I've come up with some pretty great recipes, but this year I wanted to take it one step further.
After a few days of pondering - it hit me, and why I hadn't thought of it it before, blew my mind. If I can make a chocolate mousse (or even better this Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse Pie) using avocados, why couldn't I make a lemon-lime curd? In fact, the consistency of the two is so crazy similar, I knew that I just had to give it a try and see if it would work. The results - SHOCKED me (and Frank for that matter). Certainly, I opted to not do the meringue on top, however, you absolutely could add one if you truly wanted to. Instead, I just candied a few lemon peels (which is crazy easy by the way) and topped the pie with those.
To get started, you always want a yummy crust. The easiest crust that I love for its flavor and chewy, yet crunchy texture. Its as simple as throwing dates, oats, walnuts, shredded coconut, salt, vanilla, maple syrup and some melted ghee or vegan butter into a food processor. Blend for about 3 minutes until it begins to clump together like a dough. Once that texture has formed, you can press it down into a greased or parchment lined pie pan - or a spring form pan like I used. Place it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees until the edges become golden brown. Make sure to let this crust cool completely before adding in the filling.
The filling is almost just as easy as the crust. I used a combination of both lemons and limes to make sure it was extra tart and tangy. In your food processor, place 3 avocados, 1/4 cup maple syrup (if you prefer sweeter you may want to add more) salt, vanilla, the juice of lemons and limes as well as their zest. Blend for about 5 minutes until the texture is completely smooth - you'll want no clumps of avocado left. It should resemble a mousse or curd.
When the crust is completely cooled, pour in the filling and spread evenly with a spatula. The longer it can sit in the fridge the better, so it'll get cold and stiffen a little bit. This lasted up to one week in our fridge, and stayed just as fresh. Because of the lemon and lime, the avocado never browned, leaving it a beautiful bright green all week long.
Lemon Lime Pie (GF/DF/Can be V)
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 tablespoons vanilla
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Zest of one lime and one lemon
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted butter, FarmTrue ghee, or vegan butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line a pie or spring form pan with parchment. Set aside.
Add all crust ingredients into the food processor and blend for 3-4 minutes until a dough forms. Push evenly into pie pan and place in oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until edges become golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
For filling, add all filling ingredients and blend until completely smooth for about 3-5 minutes. Scoop out into pie pan and spread evenly. Place in fridge until ready to serve.