Calamondin (or Lemon) Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

by on December 15, 2006
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Calamondin (or Lemon) Pie with Fat-free Oatmeal Cookie Crust

I started making this pie years ago, while visiting my parents for the winter holidays. In November, their citrus trees start producing more fruit than my parents can use, so by December they’re giving fruit away by the bagful. And since my father has a big sweet-tooth (which E. and I have inherited), he’s always looking for ways to transform those lemons, oranges, and other citrus into sugary desserts.

One year, he wanted a lemon pie, and my parents, being the gracious hosts that they are, suggested that I make it for him. I guess it doesn’t sound so gracious when I put it that way, but what they really wanted was a vegan pie that all of us could enjoy. So I found a recipe for lemon pie filling in the classic Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, and the rest is history.

But it’s a history that keeps evolving. The family citrus grove seems to produce more calamondins than any other fruit (calamondins are the little smaller-than-ping-pong-ball fruits that I wrote about here and which you can see here), so a few years ago, in an effort to do something with them, I started using them instead of lemons in the pie recipe. They’re a little less tart than lemons, so the pie has less of a bite, but they do have the advantage of having a very thin rind, so the peel can just be chopped up instead of zested. The only drawback is their size: I had to juice 18 of the tiny things just to get the juice for this one pie!

I developed a new crust for the pie this year, based on an oatmeal cookie recipe, and I really believe that this is the best fat-free crust that I’ve ever had. Similar to a graham cracker crust, it holds up well when sliced and has a nice crumb. Now, having said that, I’m going to warn you that it’s still a fat-free crust, so to people expecting a fat-free crust it will taste great, but to the general public it may taste a little strange. If you’re going to be making this pie for other people, you might want to consider using a traditional pastry or graham cracker crust, but if you’re limiting your fat or gluten intake, this is the crust for you!

Calamondin (or Lemon) Pie with Fat-free Oatmeal Cookie Crust

Calamondin (or Lemon) Pie with Fat-free Oatmeal Cookie Crust

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tom September 4, 2009 at 11:51 am

I made the lemon pie version but I can't have a lot of sugar, so I subbed one cup maple syrup for the sugar. I only used 1/4 cup water due to the added moisture of the syrup. It's delicious, very light and very lemony, sweet but tart. The oatmeal crust is fantastic, I don't see how anyone, vegan or not, could object.

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2 amby September 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I made this using grapefruit and oranges and it was good. It was a little to sweet for me though. Next time i will use half the sugar. Good recipe. I love the crust.

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3 Jelli Bean November 12, 2009 at 11:09 am

Made this pie, loved this pie (lemon version). I made a little oil-applesauce sub in the cookie crust, because we didn't have the applesauce. We loved it!

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4 Kim November 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Susan, this crust looks awesome. I have been wanting a good fat free crust for a while. One thing: I can't do sugar, have you ever tried making this crust sugar free? I'll probably throw in a little stevia to sweeten instead. I saw the conversion suggestions for agave, but since I wont be subbing the sugar with a comparable volume of another sweetener, do you think I need to add a little more flour or oats to make up for that missing volume? Thanks!
-Kim // affairsofliving.blogspot.com

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5 SusanV November 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Kim, you might try a combination of flour and cornstarch (about 1 teaspoon) instead of the brown sugar. Please let me know how it comes out!

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6 Sheila November 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Tried a half batch of the crust tonight using brown rice flour and it was yummy!! Had trouble getting it pressed into my rectangle pan so it was a little to thick for a good "crust". It was however, perfect for a thin bar cookie!! I'll try making it thinner tomorrow for a crust and maybe a little thicker for a bar cookie in the future. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

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7 Esther December 6, 2009 at 7:10 am

Another delicious lemon pie filling recipe! ( From Guilt Free Gourmet- Vicki Griffin)
Mix in blender till very smooth-
- 20 0z. can pineapple with juice ( crushed or chunk)
-1/2c. water
- 1 med. peeled orange- no seeds
-6 T cornstarch
-6-7 T agave or sweetener of choice
- 1/2t. lemon extract
- 4-6 T. fresh lemon juice
Thicken in saucepan over med. heat

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8 wrench April 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm

i made this pie crust tonight. or i tried. i followed the recipe exactly but it was really wet and came out almost cake like. it rose. wtf. im about to do some major improv

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9 Sasha May 2, 2010 at 5:46 am

I have got loads of lemons left over from blueberry muffin baking and they are all going to get used up in the scrimptious looking pie. Thank you!

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10 Anastasia June 25, 2010 at 10:00 am

what is “natural sugar”? what else can be used instead?

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11 SusanV June 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

By “natural sugar,” I mean sugar that hasn’t been processed through bone char to remove the color. It could be turbinado or demerara sugars or the vegan, granulated sugar made by companies like Florida Crystals. If you want, you can just use plain old sugar. :)

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12 tammay July 9, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Susan, this looks awesome! I was trying to find a fat free vegan pie crust and I love lemon pies! Just one question – rather than use oatmeal and grind it up in a blender, is it possible to use oat bran, since the consistency is quite fine? If so, how much do you think should we use?

Tam

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13 SusanV July 10, 2010 at 7:43 am

Since I haven’t made it with oat bran, I would probably just use the same amount as the oats. If the mixture seems too runny, you could always add more. Good luck!

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14 Ana July 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Thanks a lot for this wonderful pie. It’s not only easy but delicious as well. All my family is impressed with my new acquired cooking skills.

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15 Anne Schneider August 7, 2010 at 3:33 am

according to my calculations on caloriecounter.com about 160 calories per serving (12 servings). Is that accurate?

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16 natalie November 18, 2010 at 7:22 am

Is apple butter a substitute for applesauce?

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17 SusanV November 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

Apple butter will give a strong cinnamon and spice flavor to the crust, so if that doesn’t bother you, you can use it.

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18 Laloofah November 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

Susan,
Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m making this pie crust for a pumpkin pie to take to a vegan Thanksgiving neighborhood get together tomorrow and am wondering if you think I can substitute sucanat for the packed brown sugar? I have plenty of sucanat, but no brown sugar and town’s a half hour drive and it’s -15º out. (Not that I’m trying to influence your answer! ;-) If you think brown sugar is what it needs than brown sugar is what I’ll use. Teach me not to plan ahead better!)
Thank you!

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19 SusanV November 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

Do you have any agave nectar, maple syrup, or other liquid sugar. If you do, then I would use the sucanat and add a tablespoon or two of the liquid sweetener, just to give it some stickiness. Try it first with the sucanat, and if it feels more crumbly than sticky, add the liquid. Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!

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20 Laloofah November 24, 2010 at 10:49 am

Susan, thank you so much! I do have agave nectar as well as maple syrup, so I’m going to try your trick with the agave nectar and see how that goes, and I will definitely let you know! I really appreciate your help – and your prompt response!

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21 Dixter November 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Eliminating the link to the lemon pie filling the day before Thanksgiving and replacing it with a buy link to Amazon was not kind! Now what do I do? I planned to make this for Thanksgiving.

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22 SusanV November 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Um, I don’t know what you’re talking about it, but I’ll check into it.

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23 SusanV November 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm

The link to the lemon pie is still there. It’s http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/03/05/lemon-pie-filling/ . I hope you see this in time to make it for Thanksgiving.

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24 Dixter November 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Thanks Susan. I’m probably just in a first plant based Thanksgiving panic.
The crust just went into the oven.

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25 SusanV November 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Great! Hope you enjoy it! And happy first plant-based Thanksgiving! :)

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26 Sharon November 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I had the same result as Wrench. It was too goopy to go up the sides and then it rose like a cake. Disaster! What did I do wrong? I thought I followed the recipe exactly.
I have just enough time and flour to try again.

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27 SusanV November 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Sharon, I’m sorry about your bad results and hesitate to tell you to try again. But, if you do, I would use more oats and flour to make it less goopy and then prick it with a fork all over before baking.

Or if you want to play it safe, use a store-bought graham cracker crust. I would hate for you to waste more time and ingredients.

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28 Laloofah November 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Susan, I just hoovered up a piece of my pumpkin pie and that crust is superb! I ended up only having to add 1/2 TBSP of agave nectar to get the crust batter moist and sticky enough to spread in my 9″ glass pie dish. I was a little concerned about having to bake it all for an hour, but the crust didn’t burn at all. And I honestly don’t think you need that caveat about it being a fat-free crust that the general public might find strange! I agree with your first commenter Tom’s last remark.

So today was my “dress rehearsal” (any excuse for extra pumpkin pie, lol) and tomorrow I’ll be baking this in a 10″ pie dish. I noticed that I spread the batter quite a bit further up the sides of my pie plate than is shown in your photo, and probably as a result it turned out a little thinner than I’d like for this rich and substantial pie (I needed every millimeter of that crust height to hold my filling, though!) So tomorrow I plan to make a little extra batter (maybe 1.5 times the measurements) and spread a bit thicker crust. But that’s the only change I plan to make. The sucanat and agave trick worked great! Thanks again!

I’m wondering if there is any chance that Wrench and Sharon might have mistakenly used baking powder instead of soda. How mystifying their crust was goopy and rose like that!

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29 April at Kitchen Blender Reviews November 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I am so glad you have a fat free pie crust! I just bought a graham cracker crust to make your pumpkin cheese cake, but I believe I will try this pie crust for your egg nog cheese cake. I knew there had to be a pie crust with out butter or crisco!!!

I have been making your impossible pumpkin pies that do not call for crust until I found one…I just had to keep searching your sight.

Oh, are kumquats similar to the Calamondins you mentioned above? The kumquats grow really well here in the south…sounds similar…I may try that in this recipe.

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30 Ellen December 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I make a calamondin pie that is similar to this one. Instead of juicing the fruit and them chopping the rind, I just remove the seeds and then then put the whole fruit into the food processor for a moment and make a sort of slurry out of it. Saves a lot of time and is so much easier.

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31 michelle December 23, 2010 at 10:14 am

where are the nutrition facts for this recipe? can they be posted? thanks!

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32 Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner December 30, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Your crust looks amazing! YUM YUM YUM!!!

-Kathleen @ katshealthcorner.wordpress.com

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33 Karen May 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I really want to try this recipe! I need to eat gluten free and my husband LOVES pie, the unhealthier the better, so I’m desperate to find a recipe he’ll like that I can and want to eat. My question is if this crust is one that you can press in and fill, then bake (like blueberry or apple), or if you have to pre-bake it, then fill it, then finish baking. Would the crust burn? Most of my pies weren’t fill and chill, so’s to speak.

Thanks!

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34 Diana June 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I won first place in a contest with this crust and a variation of the lemon pie! The only change I made to the crust was to use whole wheat pastry flour in place of the sorghum. For the lemon pie filling, the only changes were rice milk instead of soy and the addition of grated ginger root (about 1 Tbs). I also placed a layer of fresh blueberries on the crust before pouring the filling over, so I called it lemon ginger surprise pie. Many people were surprised that it was practically fat free.

Thanks for the great recipes. This is one of the first places I point new vegans and is definitely one of the first places I check for recipes for myself. I love your commitment to healthy, delicious vegan food.

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35 Con Conz September 4, 2011 at 5:16 am

does that small amount of apple sauce actually work? i just tried it, and it was still bone dry. Is your apple sauce thin? coz mine looks kinda chunky

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36 SusanV September 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

The apple sauce I use is pretty thin and smooth, so that may be the problem.

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37 Con Conz September 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hmmm mine was mostly chunks! I geuss English apple sauce is different? I might try blending it next time, or adding a shed load of agave nectar.

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38 shawn vise September 21, 2011 at 8:05 am

Can’t wait to try! I have a 5 foot tree growing lots of fruit! Thanks for shareing!!!

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39 Jenn October 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I have used your oatmeal cookie crust for my pumpkin-apple pie. It turned out delicious. I did grease the plate before I put the crust down. The crust stayed in tact when I s;iced, and even the kids thought it was tasty. Thanks for providing a healthy option.

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40 Jessica October 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I’m really eager to make this but wondering about some of the subs I’m considering as this is my first go: I’m using regular old fashioned rolled oats, rice flour, and could I sub almond meal + stevia for the 1/4c brown sugar + 2tbsp natural sugar? If so, what would the quantities have to look like?

You advised one poster to add flour + cornstarch instead of the brown sugar…did you mean 1/4c flour + 1tsp cornstarch?

Thank you!

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41 SusanV October 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I’m afraid to offer an opinion because I would just be guessing. The almond meal-stevia combo might work, but I don’t know how much stevia to suggest because all brands of stevia are different. You could just add it to taste. (I would use 1/4 of the almond meal.) And yes, those are the proportions of flour and cornstarch I would suggest. Good luck!

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42 Anna November 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm

First of all, thank you for posting this! I am so excited to try this out. I have a question though. I really hate soymilk and any other milk substitute, so do you think substituting the soymilk with orange juice or lemon juice would still work?

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43 Susan Voisin November 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm

That should work, though it won’t be as creamy. How do you feel about coconut milk?

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44 Mary November 23, 2011 at 7:54 am

Susan, I love your site! For Thanksgiving, I plan to try this crust with a pumpkin filling that will need to be baked. I noticed several others on here did. I’m just wondering if I would precook the crust. I don’t want to overcook it yet I don’t want it to be soggy either. I’d email the ones who used it with the pumpkin filling to ask what they did but not sure how to contact them. I DO want it to have the wonderful crumb texture you mention. Thanks in advance for your insight.

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45 Susan Voisin November 23, 2011 at 8:59 am

Mary, I think you won’t need to pre-bake it since you’ll be baking the whole pie. I hope you enjoy it, and if you get the chance, please let me know your results.

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46 Mary November 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Thanks, Susan. I WILL let you know how it turns out.

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47 Mary November 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Susan, the pumpkin pie with oatmeal cookie crust turned out very good. I could have said GREAT had I not messed up the recipe a bit. I didn’t have any brown sugar so used the equivalent in demerara sugar and added 1 T. maple sugar for moisture. That gave me too much moisture–it was very sticky when I spread it in the pie pan. In rereading your instructions using maple syrup as a substitute, I see that I misunderstood. The crust was very good anyway and everyone loved the pie. Next time I’ll make sure I have brown sugar before I use the recipe. Since it always helps to evaluate a recipe by following the instructions EXACTLY! ;-)

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48 Robin November 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Much like Wrench and Sharon my crust rose and stayed soft. I did follow it to the letter, with no substitutions. The only thing I can think of, is maybe the baking soda was too old? In any case, it was still delicious. :)

Also I made the lemon pie filling recipe but used lime instead. I ran it through the blender after I cooked the filling to get a couple lumps out and it didn’t set properly. I think putting it through the blender must have prevented it from setting somehow. Again, it was delicious and we ate our “lime pudding” anyway. Haha!

Any tips before I try this again? I have everything I need for another go around. I’d love a firm filling like the one you have pictured.

Your recipes are always fabulous. We love your site and have been trying your recipes since we went vegan 3 years ago. Thanks for your help! :)

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49 Susan Voisin November 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I’m not sure about the crust. Maybe you could try using pie weights–those little bean-like things that weigh down the crust so that it doesn’t rise. For the filling, make sure you pack the cornstarch into the measuring cup to ensure that you have enough. Other than the blending, the one thing I can think of causing the filling not to set is that somehow your 1/2 cup of cornstarch was smaller than mine.

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50 Robin November 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for the reply! I tried the crust today with pumpkin filling and it looks great. I can’t wait. :) I will pack the Cornstarch next time, that is also something I didn’t think of. thanks again! :)

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51 ms_min January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

This was tasty, but for me the filling seemed too stiff and not tender enough. If I leave out the agar will the filling still set up or do you have a different solution? Also, you mentioned vegan whipped topping..do you have a recipe for one? I am currently living outside the country and there aren’t a lot of vegan convenience foods. I used to make a non-whipped vanilla sauce with silken tofu, but that is also very hard to get here and when you can it costs a fortune.

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52 Susan Voisin January 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Yes, you can leave out the agar and it comes out fine–still firm but not as stiff. Here’s the recipe I use: http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/03/05/lemon-pie-filling/ . If you don’t mind the fat, here’s a recipe for coconut whipped cream: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/09/how-to-make-whipped-coconut-cream-from.html

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53 Esther J May 10, 2012 at 5:11 am

I probably will use the coconut whipped cream for a topping. ‘looks divine!

My question: Have you ever tried/what are your thoughts on putting coconut in the pie itself? My mother loves anything lemony and/or coconut-y so I’m thinking I’ll try your lemon pie recipe for her Mother’s Day treat. To mix coconut shavings into the filling seems so yummy, but I don’t want it to fall flat (both literally and metaphorically).

Thanks!

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54 Susan Voisin May 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

I think that would taste delicious!

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55 Aiza March 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

I made this pie and had it chill in my fridge over night and the filling did not settle. It’s very watered down and soaked through the crust. I followed everything and did not make any modifications. Why did this happen?

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56 suki jones May 29, 2012 at 11:59 am

wonder if this crust would freeze well? anyone try to do it yet?

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57 Azahara September 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

Hi Susan,

I’ve been looking high & low for a fat-free sugar-free pie crust to use with your pumpkin pie recipe. I’d like to try this one, without the sugar (adding more flour and cornstarch, as you suggest). However, I’ve also been thinking of using the cherry cake batter (minus the cherries) as a crust. Do you think it would work?

I’ve never baked a pie with crust in my life (it’s not common where I live), so is there anything I should know in terms of baking time & temperature? I’ve already cooked your pumpkin pie many times, but always without the crust. I just got myself an Emile Henry Artisan Ruffled Pie Dish and am very excited to put it to use this fall. Do you think fat-free crusts are bound to break around the ruffles?

Thank you.

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58 Radhika Sarohia October 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

This looks delicious, I love desserts

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59 Sue November 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

Can lemon juice be substituted for the 3/4 cup of calamondin juice?

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60 Susan Voisin November 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Yes, and if you look at the beginning of the recipe, there’s a link to my lemon pie.

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61 Ber November 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Absolutely wonderful recipe. I have a lemon and kumquat tree and for this I used lemons. It was perfect and so easy I have let my 12 year old grandson make it with excellent success. Another winner…

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62 kkspenca January 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I just finished making this pie. It is chilling in the fridge. I can’t believe how easy it was. Thank you.

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63 Deborah July 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Has anyone made this lemon pie with agave instead of white sugar? How did it turn out and h ow much agave did you use? thanks.

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64 Maraika July 13, 2013 at 4:59 am

Hi. Would it be possible to sub the 1/4 cup apple sauce for the crust with pumpkin sauce, or another sauce, or mashed banana? I will be making the double layer Pumpkin Pie and one of the guest is Fructose Intolerant. Thanks

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65 Susan Voisin July 13, 2013 at 8:52 am

I think pumpkin purée or banana should work. But wouldn’t they contain fructose, too?

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66 Hart November 15, 2013 at 2:38 am

looks wonderful.

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67 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen November 25, 2013 at 10:26 am

This pie looks amazing. I can’t wait to make it – it seems so simple and easy to make as well which I love!

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68 Lori November 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

This looks lovely! Do you think almond milk would work in place of soy?

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69 Lori November 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

Oh. It says “or other nondairy milk” right there in the recipe. Sorry! :) Can’t wait to make this and dig in!

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70 Linda November 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Happy to find a healthy pie crust recipe to try. Only one question, to get started. Do you think oat flour will work instead of grinding quick oats in a food processor? If so, should the amount be increased?

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71 Susan Voisin November 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

You will probably need a little less oat flour. I would just subtract about a tablespoon and see how it feels. If it seems too wet, just add a little more.

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72 Hela December 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I was just wondering whether the pie has to be chilled in the fridge, or just set aside to chill on the room temperature?

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73 Susan Voisin December 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

It really needs to go in the fridge.

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74 2da4est December 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Greetings Susan. Hope you had a great holiday. I have been pouring through your site and am really enjoying it. I had some time today to try a couple of recipes that I couldn’t resist. The Almond nuggets of joy are great and good and filling. Perfect bites. I also made the the chocolate orange cake and am waiting to try that one. And just had to try this crust recipe. The “raw” dough was delicious. I was going to just bake it off and have it like an oat bar but decided to try it in a tart pan. I had the same issue as other posters where it puffed up. I had even put forks holes in it before baking. It is odd that it does that for some and not for others. I was wondering if it could actually be the difference in the brand of ingredient since everything else was exactly the same. Or maybe the difference in ovens. I noticed that mine may have be a tad underdone. I hope someone figures it out as just a curiosity point since it is delicious no matter what. I am just learning to bake all over again with my new lifestyle changes and it is a challenge. Very glad you have paved the way for me.
By the way, I am going to leave out the baking soda next time and turn them into a raw bite! Yum.

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75 tami February 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm

We made the lemon version and we loved it. Thanks for a great potluck dessert idea. Cant wait to try this on my carnivorous extended family.

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76 Sarah March 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve made the recipe twice now, once using the lemon version (and used a fruit only blackberry jam as a compliment, delish!) and then I tried a key-lime version! OH WOW! Great work!

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