If you’ve ever witnessed or partaken in a Japanese tea ceremony, you’ll know about matcha – a high quality, powdered green tea that is traditionally prepared with hot water and whisked till frothy. Matcha is a beautiful green colour and has a pleasant herbaceous flavour that pairs well with citrus and creamy textures. In today’s recipe I’ve matched it with lime and coconut to make a riff on the classic American dessert – key lime pie!
As I wanted maximum filling to crust ratio, I optioned for more of a cheesecake format with just a layer of crust on the bottom and plenty of silky smooth filling. These mini pies are tart, not-too-sweet, and perfectly balanced in flavour. You could use this recipe to make a full sized pie if you prefer – use a 15cm/6inch card or silicon mould or parchment lined spring form tin, and extend the chilling time.
Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, amino acids and other nutrients. One of the amino acids, L-theanine, makes the tea’s naturally occurring caffeine metabolize more slowly. The result is that the caffeine is released in your body over a longer period of time, compared to the quick jolt from coffee, giving you sustained energy and mental clarity. That said, it is powdered tea leaf, so these cakes are better suited as a day time treat!
I’m using Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha here, which is specifically blended for use in baking, lattes, smoothies and desserts. Premium grade matcha, whilst beautiful as a tea, is often too delicate to hold its own against other ingredients. Cooking grade matcha, apart from the added benefit of being more affordable, is actually better at providing a matcha flavour that truly shines through in your desserts. xx enjoy!
Mini Matcha Key Lime Pies
To get the most juice out of your limes: before cutting them, firmly roll them with the palm of your hand against a counter or board till they feel softer and easier to squeeze. By doing so, you’re breaking up the fruit’s membrane structure to allow ease of squeezing and maximum juice! I use an expeller pressed refined coconut oil here, which is odorless without the use of chemicals. I used a coconut milk with 89% coconut extract, please choose one that is high in coconut extract or tinned coconut cream. You could make a full sized pie if you prefer – use a 15cm/6inch card or silicon mould or parchment lined spring form tin, but you will need to chill it for longer. A reminder that I use Australian sized cups, see here for more info or use weights.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 2+ hours
80g | 1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
45g | 3/4 cup dried coconut flakes
30ml | 1.5 tbls expeller pressed coconut oil, liquefied
15ml | 3 tsp pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Key Lime Pie Filling
1.5 cups | 190g raw cashews, soaked in cold water for 4 hours +, then drained
180ml | 3/4 cup fresh lime juice ( 4-5 Tahitian limes, or 12 key small limes)***
125ml | 1/2 cup tinned full fat coconut milk/cream ***
100ml pure maple syrup
1.5 tsp Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml expeller pressed coconut oil, liquefied
Coconut Whipped Cream, thinly sliced lime and matcha, to decorate; optional.
Start by making the crust: Use a food processor to finely chop the brazil nuts and coconut flakes into a crumbly meal. Pour this into a small bowl and stir in the coconut oil, maple syrup and salt.
Divide this mixture into 10-12 small card patty pans or small silicon moulds – about a heaped teaspoon in each. Use your fingers to press the mix firmly into the base of each mould till evenly spread – it may be easier to slightly dampen your hands to do so. Once each crust is smooth and pushed firmly into the base of the moulds, place them in the fridge to set whilst you make the filling.
Make the filling: In a high speed blender, add all the filling ingredients except the coconut oil. Blend till silky smooth – 1-3 min. Add the coconut oil then blend again till incorporated.
Assemble the pies: Pour the filling over the crust in each mould and chill for 2-3 hours, or till firm or until ready to serve. If you find they haven’t set quite firmly enough to cleanly remove their moulds, then putting them in your freezer for 30 min or so will help.
When you are ready to serve them, gently remove them from their moulds and serve as is, or with a blob of Coconut Whipped Cream. You can also garnish with a sprinkle of matcha powder and thinly sliced lime, as pictured.
The pies will keep in their moulds (ungarnished and airtight) for up to 5 days refrigerated, or much longer in your freezer – let them thaw in your fridge before serving.
Thank you to Aiya Matcha for sponsoring this post! Sponsorship makes this blog possible. All opinions are my own, thank you for your support!