I have this vision of summer. Long, twilit evenings spent outdoors. A cold glass of wine, some fairy lights. There’s music playing in the background. The kids are running around. There’s laughter, and good conversation, and the air is cool. We linger over dinner. The food is delightful — refreshing, light, playful. And then, since nobody wants to leave, we cap off the evening with dessert. Nothing too sweet or too heavy. Just a little something sweet, something light, something fun.
Summer should be FUN.
The reality of summer doesn’t always match my vision. Childhood doesn’t prepare you for the hard, cold, reality that most jobs don’t offer a summer vacation. My summer evenings are often spent in the car, in a long sweaty slog through traffic. I come home to a house that’s 90 degrees (in my fantasy life, I often forget that summer is HOT), and decide whether to open the windows, letting the dubious cooling effects of outside air rush into the house, along with flies, stinkbugs, and of course, mosquitoes, or whether to close off the outdoors, turn on the air conditioning, and cocoon. And get bitten my mosquitoes anyway. Friends are busy, or out of town, and dinner is a ham sandwich, as that’s just about all Nuni will eat these days. Summer reality has its joys – ripe tomatoes from the garden, and the twilights are long. We do eat outdoors. But my reality is that summer also has its aggravations, and isn’t any more fun than any of the other four seasons.
At least dessert can still be fun, right?
These tiny pies are fun. First of all – tiny pies? Always fun. Put them in jars and you double the fun (and make them super easy to transport for a picnic or a beach trip — see? More fun.) These are tart and refreshing and, unlike traditional key lime pies, light, low fat and relatively healthy. Lightened with egg whites, tangy with yogurt and lime juice, these mini pies are what summer was meant to be.
I was inspired to make these because, after a meeting of Food Bloggers Los Angeles at my house (which was, I admit it, quite fun, though also quite hot), I was left with a bag of key limes the kind people at Melissa’s Produce gave me, and a couple of tubs of Vanilla fat free Greek yogurt from Stonyfield Farms. Yogurt and limes ends up being an inspired combination.
- ½ c. milk
- ¾ packet gelatin
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ c. key lime juice (12 limes)
- ¼ c. sugar, divided
- ½ cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 egg whites
- 2 oz. Trader Joe's cats' cookies (these are easily replaced with gluten free cookies to make these gluten free)
- 6 4-oz. canning jars
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk, and wait a few minutes until the gelatin has softened.. Remove 1 Tablespoon of the milk gelatin mixture and set aside. Heat remainder of milk mixture to nearly boiling.
- Mix the reserved milk with egg yolks and 2 Tablespoons sugar and beat until combined. Add the hot milk mixture, then return mixture to stovetop and heat until thickened enough to coat a spoon. Add yogurt and lime juice. Chill until cold, stirring periodically.
- Meanwhile crush the cats cookies until fine, and divide the crumbs among the jars.
- Beat the egg whites with remaining 2 T sugar until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the chilled lime mixture, then pour the mixture into the jars on top of the crumbs.
- Cap with the jar lids and chill until solid. Serve topped with whipped cream.
I like your vision of summer, ham sandwich and all. GREG
The idea of presenting dessert in this lite jar in a captivaging idea – I must try this out this weekend! Thanks for sharing!
I can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend. I just happen to have Trader Joes cat cookies that need to be used.
Thank you for sharing!
Love key lime pie. Great photos and recipe adaptation. The texture looks light and airy. I don’t have any small canning jars, but I do have a very cool little set of coffee cups that would work. ~thanks, tom
You are so right. Tiny pies are the definition of fun and these look absolutely delish. And I can’t tell you how happy it makes this Chicago mama to hear a CA dweller complain about heat and mosquitoes. I thought you guys had perfect weather all the time, great fruit, and no bugs! Not only did this post make me crave dessert, but it made me feel a little better about our tornado warnings and the bug bites covering my kids. So good to see you in SD!
These are super cute, Kate! What a great way to use both products. 🙂
Thanks so much. I needed a lift and this made my whole week. I did my own version.