It took very little time to make this Calamansi Pie. It took longer to wait for it to set firmly. The only thing I had to pre-bake was the crumb crust. As I pressed the crumbs to the edge of the pie plate, I knew this was going to be a luscious citrus-flavored pie. Best of all, I was using a favorite Filipino ingredient: calamansi. Summer is the season for this citrus fruit.
Calamansi, the Philippine lime are small round citrus fruits, with a green or yellow-gold 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 here in America. But if the fresh calamansi is not available, it is easy to buy and substitute with the frozen calamansi concentrate, found in Asian markets.
Once the crumb crust had cooled, I poured the creamy white pie filling. 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. I let the calamansi pie cool and firm up in the refrigerator for a few hours.
For dessert, we sliced the pie and each pristine white wedge was sublime. The creamy citrus filling was silky, and smooth. One bite after another gave off a tart lime sweetness that went well with the buttery crumb crust. It was heaven on a summer day.
- Food processor
- large pie plate - 9-inch diameter
- Cake Mixer
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups Graham crackers crumbs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
For pie filling:
- 2 Tablespoons Knox unflavored gelatin
- ½ cup water, for diluting the gelatin
- 1 ½ cups whipped cream
- 1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
- ½ cup fresh calamansi juice; or use frozen concentrate
- ¼ cup whipped cream
To prepare the crumb crust
- Crush whole Graham crackers in a food processor to obtain the desired amount.Combine the Graham crackers crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Incorporate well.Press the crumb crust mixture against a pie plate, using a fork, evenly distributing at the bottom and sides.Refrigerate the pie plate with the crust for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up.Preheat the oven at 350 F.Bake the crumb crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Take the pie plate out of the oven. Cool on counter.
To prepare the filling:
- Dilute the unflavored gelatin powder in half a cup of water. Set aside for 5 minutes.Pour the gelatin mixture in a small saucepan. Heat the gelatin mixture over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring a bit, until liquid is clear and gelatin dissolves. Set aside.
- Beat the whipping cream in a mixer for 5 minutes at medium speed till frothy.Pour the condensed milk and calamansi juice, the diluted gelatin mixture, and beat well till blended.
- Pour the filling mixture into the crumb crust-filled pie plate. Smooth the top with a spatula.Cover the pie and refrigerate till firm for about 4 to 6 hours. Garnish with whipped cream on top.
- Substitution: If fresh calamansi are not available, use calamansi concentrate, which can be purchased at Asian markets or online sources like Amazon or online Asian groceries.Or use fresh lemon juice or frozen concentrate if calamansi is not within reach.Availability:The fresh calamansi in the photo were a gift from our cousin Susan, who has an orchard in San Francisco. At other times, I have purchased fresh calamansi in late July from a farm orchard here on the east coast. There are other farm sources online which sell calamansi during its season of July to August, here in the USA.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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