I am a dessert fanatic. I would forego the meal if I could and go straight to dessert, no side dishes. There I’ve said it. Full disclosure. I would fill up this blog with just desserts if I could. But that wouldn’t be right, would it? We cannot just eat desserts all day. Yet, it would be honestly me. But let me tell you why I chose to share this delectable cloud-like concoction with you today.
One of my most favorite ingredients to add whether cooking or baking is calamansi. This is the Filipino lime. We had trees growing in our yard back in the day. I have a photo of it here on this post. These calamansi pieces were from a family lunch my sister hosted for us when I went to the Philippines last year, on a home visit. My sister had sliced a plateful of these adorable little citrus fruit and put it alongside a pancit noodle dish as a flavor enhancer to the dish. Like most citrus, the calamansi is versatile and used in both cooking and baking.
Calamansi, the Philippine lime are small round citrus fruits, with a green or yellow outer skin, measuring about quarter of an inch in diameter. They have the tart flavors of a mandarin orange, but are sour as much as they’re sweet. The calamansi also has a piercing sweet citrus scent.
The calamansi (sometimes also spelled ‘kalamansi’) is abundant in tropical Philippines. It can also thrive in the warmer states of the USA. But here in the east coast, it is easier to obtain and more affordable for me to use the frozen “calamansi” concentrate, found in Asian markets.
It took very little time to make this pie. It actually took longer to wait for it to set firmly. The only thing I had to pre-bake was the crumb crust. What was marvelous was that I had leftover calamansi sables baked from another day. I crushed these fragrant lime-scented cookies, pounded them well and poured sugar and butter. As I pressed the crumbs to the edge of the glass pie plate, I knew this was going to be a luscious lime-like pie. Calamansi on calamansi. How can you top that ?
Once the crumb crust was ready and had cooled, I poured the creamy white pie filling on it. A clean sweep of the spatula all over the top was all that was needed to smoothen the filling. The pie jiggled slightly as I carried it to the refrigerator to cool. I covered and let the calamansi pie refrigerate for a few hours.
After dinner, we sliced the pie and each pristine white wedge was simply sublime. The creamy citrus filling was soft, smooth and firm. One bite after another gave off a tart lime sweetness that went well with the lemon-buttery crumb crust. It was heavenly!
This is a Filipino pie because it used calamansi, the Philippine lime. The sweet, tangy citrus flavor added a zesty, lightness to the pie filling. The creamy citrus smoothness was a great contrast to the buttery crumb crust. This calamansi pie recipe was slightly adapted from a Whipped Key Lime Pie on Better Homes and Gardens (www.bhg.com). The calamansi pie I made served 6.
- calamansi sables crumbs - 1 cup (from leftover calamansi sables), for crust
- graham cracker crumbs - 1/2 cup, for crust
- melted butter - 1/3 cup (I used Kerrygold unsalted butter)
- sweetened condensed milk - 1 can (14 ounce)
- calamansi juice frozen concentrate - 1/2 cup, unsweetened (from Asian markets)
- whipped cream - 1 1/2 cups, for filling
- whipped cream - 1/4 cup, for garnish
- Knox unflavored gelatin - 2 Tablespoons (or 1 envelope)
- water - 1/2 cup, for diluting Knox unflavored gelatin
- To make the crumb crust : combine the calamansi sables and graham cracker cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Blend well. Place the crumb crust mixture on a 9-inch pie plate and press well to the bottom and sides with a fork. Chill this pie plate for about 10 minutes to firm up. Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees. Bake the crust for about 12 minutes. Take the pie plate out of the oven. Cool on the counter while preparing the filling.
- To make the filling : dilute the unflavored gelatin powder in water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Heat the gelatin and water over low heat for 3 minutes until liquid clears and gelatin dissolves. Stir the mixture. Set aside.
- Separately, beat the whipping cream with a mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk, calamansi (or lemon juice), diluted gelatin mixture and beat till it blends (about 2 minutes) or till partially set.
- To assemble: pour the calamansi pie filling over the crumb crust. Smooth the top with a spatula. Cover and refrigerate till set for about 6 hours. Garnish with whipped cream on top if desired.
- Cook’s comments : the closest in flavor to calamansi are Meyer lemons. You can substitute with Meyer lemons if calamansi are not available. If you are using juice from freshly squeezed calamansi, measure the same amount indicated in the recipe above. For the recipe of Calamansi Sables, see previous blog post. If you do not have calamansi sables on hand, use regular graham cracker crumbs for the entire recipe.
- Recipe Notes: This is my entry for the month's "Let's Lunch", a virtual food event. September's theme is 'pie'. If you'd like to see more pie recipes from the rest of our group, follow #LetsLunch on Twitter and some of the participants' Pinterest boards.
- For more Let’s Lunch pie recipes, including some very creative takes, follow #LetsLunch on Twitter or visit some of my blogging buddies:Annabelle‘s Chocolate Pie at Glass of FancyAnne Marie‘s Apple Pie Sandwiches at Sandwich SurpriseBetty Ann‘s Calamansi Pie at Asian In America Cheryl‘s Mexican Cottage Pie at A Tiger in the Kitchen Jill‘s Guava and Cream Cheese Empanadas at Eating My Words Lisa‘s Sweet Ricotta Noodle Pie at Monday Morning Cooking Club Lisa K‘s Chocolate Pie at Open Salon Linda‘s Biscoff Banana & Pear Galette at Spicebox Travels Lucy‘s Sweet Potato Custard Pie at A Cook and Her Books Margaret‘s Cushaw (Squash) Pie at Tea and Scones, Too Nancie‘s Edna Lewis’s Tyler Pie at Nancie McDermott Naomi‘s Huckleberry Pie Ice-Cream at The Gastro Gnome Sara‘s Herb Pie from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s “Jerusalem” at Three Clever Sisters
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