One of my all-time favorite warm-weather desserts is Key Lime Pie. Though I've never actually been to Key West (the home of this iconic dessert), I always order a slice or two when I'm in Florida. The best version I've tried so far is at Joe's Takeaway in Miami Beach. Theirs is the perfect combo of tart, sweet, and creamy, with a crumbly graham cracker crust. I also love the fact that when you order an entire pie (which we have!), they give you a can of Reddi Wip. As in the old school fake-whipped-cream-in-a-can that we used to fill our mouths with as kids. Though I'm not advocating chemical-laden fake foods, when ordering a pie from a takeout joint in Florida, it somehow just seems appropriate!

I don't have Joe's recipe, but I've made a traditional version for years by following the recipe on the back of the Nellie & Joe's Key lime juice bottle. Key limes are smaller and more acidic than regular limes, with a yellowish juice instead of green. They're also harder to find, which is why I often just buy the bottled version (which still makes a mean pie!).

Recently, for my friend's birthday, I wanted to make a dessert that would go well with Grilled Fish Tacos. Key lime seemed an obvious choice, and I decided to make it a bit more thin and elegant by using a tart pan. We've been trying to eliminate gluten lately, so I used gluten-free graham crackers (I found them at Whole Foods) and almond flour in lieu of the traditional graham crust, and eliminated the sugar altogether. The pie filling is plenty sweet on its own, and I love the nutty, crunchy contrast of the sugar-free crust. I also added in some lime zest to the filling, which bumped up the lime flavor considerably. Throw on some fresh raspberries, some whipped cream (I made mine fresh this time!), and a lime slice for a birthday-worth presentation. Then just close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine you're in the Florida Keys...