Key Lime Pie: Recipe Makeover

It may have seemed like a light, ethereal pie all along, but it wasn't—until now. We kept the tang and the graham goodness. By: Sidney Fry, MS, RD

Lighter Key Lime Pie

Photo: Randy Mayor

Lighter Key Lime Pie

There's an addictive quality to Key lime pie's finely tuned balance of the sweet and the tart, the creamy and the crunchy, all crowned with fluffy cream. It seems so airy, but it's 500 calories of airy. Time for a makeover, indeed.

Classic: 519 calories (per slice), 19.6g sat fat, 33.5g total fat

Makeover: 280 calories (per slice), 3.6g sat fat, 8.9g total fat

View Recipe: Key Lime Pie

How We Lightened

Photo: Randy Mayor

How We Lightened

This one threw us a curveball, though, as we found the graham cracker crust to be tricky. It needs fat to help bind the crumbs and to maintain a crisp texture when baked, filled, and chilled. Too little fat delivers a crumbly mess that grows soggy after sitting—as we discovered to our chagrin in our first few tests. Nor did canola oil, in place of butter, yield the crisp goodness we were looking for. The breakthrough discovery, oddly, was white chocolate. It melts to bind the crumbs in the oven, then hardens when cooled to form a perfectly crisp crust. Fat-free condensed milk and 2% Greek yogurt offer a light, tangy, creamy filling with lots of zesty, fresh-squeezed lime juice. Fat-free whipped topping adds a fluffy finish with a lot less fat, of course, than cream. This pie boasts 75% less fat than the original and makes this Key lime treat a dessert you can enjoy all year long.

Start with White Chocolate in the Crust

Photo: Randy Mayor

Start with White Chocolate in the Crust

It'll melt to bind the crumbs when baked, then keep them crisp when cooled. Save 9g sat fat per ounce over butter.

Add 2% Greek Yogurt to the Filling

Photo: Randy Mayor

Add 2% Greek Yogurt to the Filling

It lends a creamy tang that balances the sugary fat-free condensed milk, saving 2.5g sat fat over regular condensed milk.

Finish with a Dollop of Fat-Free Whipped Topping

Photo: Randy Mayor

Finish with a Dollop of Fat-Free Whipped Topping

This cool, fluffy treat will save 140 calories and 10g sat fat per slice over whipped heavy cream.

View Recipe: Key Lime Pie

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