Tangy and utterly creamy lime chiffon pie. This easy no-bake dessert is a hybrid between a cream pie and a no-bake cheesecake. It uses fresh lime zest and juice to flavor the filling.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I got inspired to make this after watching tv with my daughters. And err, this isn’t the first time one of my childhood favorite shows got a dedicated recipe on the blog (lemon meringue strawberry shortcake).
Does this mean I should make a hybrid lime chiffon/strawberry shortcake? Mmm, I like that idea.
This recipe was inspired by Betty Crocker’s Lime Chiffon Pie. I love the slice in the photo (it looks like a slice of a giant green marshmallow pie!) but I wanted to do this: a. Without gelatin, b. By making my own whipped cream, c. with lots of lime juice for a prominent lime flavor. I use cream cheese which gives the pie a more firm texture and adds that yummy tangy cheesecake flavor. The result is a cross between a no-bake cheesecake and a lime chiffon pie, and it’s just perfect. The kind of dessert that immediately brights up your taste buds!
Cookie crumbs: If you’ve made any of my cheesecakes, you know I like to use digestive cookies often, but your everyday graham crackers will do too (probably not the ones with cinnamon). IF you want to use a sandwich cookie, remove the cream or reduce the butter in the recipe so the crust isn’t overly soft. If the crumbs are more than ‘wet sand’ in texture the crust will shrink when it bakes, leak butter and fall apart.
Cream Cheese: Full fat so we can get a sturdy, firm filling. Dairy free cream cheese could work but try to opt for a brand that isn’t overly soft.
Powdered sugar: Since we aren’t baking the filling I much prefer powdered sugar made with tapioca instead of cornstarch. The former melts on the tongue, the latter needs to be heated or you’ll taste that ‘chalkyness’. Sift it before it goes into the mix!
Limes: You’ll need about 8 to get enough juice if they are small, about 4-5 if they are large. If they aren’t organic, rub them well under running water to remove any residual wax coating.
Heavy cream: or heavy whipping cream. Light cream will not work, it doesn’t have enough fat to thicken. If you wanted to make these dairy free you could use coconut cream (coconut and lime does sound wonderful together!) but chill the cans before you make the filling with them.
Vanilla: This is the kind of pie where vanilla will stand out so use something good like vanilla bean paste or a freshly scraped bean. The speckles will turn it pretty too! Definitely don’t use artificial vanilla here.
And to be honest, it’s not just for the ease of it. I always make my whipped cream in a food processor. I go into it in a bit more detail in this chocolate pie post, but basically in a food processor you are beating less air into the heavy cream which makes it more stable. It’ll keep shape, without weeping/separating for days.
Food processor cookie crust: Cookies, whichever kind you choose will need to be ground in the food processor. The butter can be added after and then you just pulse it a few times until the butter has coated all the crumbs and it resembles wet sand.
Press crumbs and bake the crust: If you are using a cake pan as I instruct, you’ll find some of the crumbs unwilling to really adhere to sticking up the sides. Don’t fret, do the best you can trying to get it as high and even as you can. If parts of it fall as you are working, it’s ok! We like a rustic looking pie.
You might be wondering why I call this a no bake pie then ask you to bake the crust, it’s only the crust! I do this so that the crust is sturdy when I slice and I get nice clean cuts. Without baking it’ll come apart quite a bit when you slice.
Now, wipe it clean of any crumbs. You don’t want any of that grit in the creamy filling.
One major reason we’re able to get away from using cool whip in this recipe and making our own, is because we’re making a stable filling by using the food processor. This whips a lot less air into the heavy cream which means the pie will last longer in the fridge.
I like to do this part in steps because at first I want to get the cream cheese smooth and process any lumps out of this.
So I’ll start by adding the sugar first, then the cream cheese and the lime zest and process on high for about 30 seconds until it looks well, creamy and you can’t see any lumps.
You’ll want to grab a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl to get it all mixed in well then add the rest of the ingredients, save the heavy cream and pulse to mix.
The heavy cream goes in last but it’s the one you need to keep an eye on: you don’t want to over process the cream, it’ll separate and get rather rough, but you also need to process until it’s thick and very creamy. Use the video to look for the right consistency.
The pie should chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight so it can firm up to be sliced.
Lime Curd: I used my lime curd recipe and spread about ½ cup on top after the pie chilled. To be honest, I loved it but I am a lemon/lime aficionado. My family are not, and I got a few complaints of ‘wow that’s too much lime’ from them ;p
Extra lime zest: Just to enhance the look of the pie and make sure no one thinks it’s mint chocolate ;p
More whipped cream? A few google images of lime chiffon pie show a slice dolloped with a swirl of whipped cream. Honestly, the pie is so creamy and full of whipped cream I can’t see it being necessary and would altogether just be too much cream.
Bare. How I think it would be most people pleasing, as is, with those beautiful lime swoops visible.
Strawberries: Oof I do think this piled with macerated strawberries would be wonderful. Slice 1lb strawberries and sprinkle 1 TB sugar, squeeze half a lemon over it and let set for about an hour.
I use an 8” cake pan, grease it and line it with parchment paper. I like this method and pan for two reasons: 1. I don’t have to worry about any butter leakage when I bake the crust and 2. I can just lift out the pie once it’s chilled and put it on a nicer serving plate.
You can use a springform if you prefer.
Also, a muffin pan with cupcake liners would work too! Not sure how many it would make but I’d venture at least a dozen.
Same recipe, same everything, just a different pan. Use a square 8 or 9” pan and place two sheets of parchment overlapping so they create a + and all sides are covered.
When you press the crumbs into the pan, you can just do one layer (no need to go up the sides) pressed into the bottom. Everything else will be the same.
You can – I’d do it by putting the cookies in a gallon ziplock bag and hitting it with a rolling pin until I had crumbs. You’ll want to press some of the cookies down with your fingers to break up the smaller bits.
Then you can put the crumbs in a bowl and mix with the melted butter.
The filling I’d then make either in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, whipping the cream cheese first until there’s no lumps. Then adding the heavy cream and whipping until it’s thick. With this method you’ll likely have it separating a bit if left in the fridge for too long (more than a day or two).
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