Calamansi pie tastes like your favorite calamansi juice in every bite. Perfectly sweet and tart, refreshing, so easy to make! A taste of summer in the colder months, a delicious way to stay cool in the warmer months. You’ll love it.
(Are you a fan of citrusy desserts? Try creamy lime bars. Sweet, tangy and with a coconut cookie base.)
Calamansi desserts have become more popular in recent years.
Growing up, we only ever used calamansi in calamansi juice, as calamansi sauce, or in Filipino dishes like bistek and barbecue.
But now, you’ll find calamansi recipes for cheesecake, tarts and even ice cream.
And why not? Its flavor profile is a cross between a lime and lemon, and they look so similar to key limes too.
So I set out to make calamansi dessert recipes of my own. And spoiler alert: they’re so good!
First up is calamansi pie, probably the creamiest, easiest pie you’ll ever make. Let’s get to it.
What is calamansi
Calamansi is a small citrus fruit native to the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia.
In English, they’re called a variety of names, from Philippine limes or Philippine lemons, to calamondin, derived from its old Tagalog name, kalamunding (source).
It’s very sour but doesn’t taste exactly like limes or lemons; it’s somewhere in between.
Fresh calamansi substitutes
We very rarely get fresh calamansi here in Canada and when we do, they are very expensive, as they prefer to grow in tropical and warm weather. So we use calamansi extract in my baking and Red’s cooking.
And calamansi extract is what I used here.
If you have fresh calamansi you can go for it, though I personally don’t see the joy in juicing all that fruit lol. (This is also the reason why I use bottled key lime juice when I make my eggless key lime pie.)
Note that you must use extract and not concentrate, because calamansi juice concentrate usually contain honey so you won’t get that pure calamansi flavor.
Why you’ll love calamansi pie
Whether you use extract or fresh calamansi, you will love this calamansi pie.
- Easy to make. This recipe is a fool-proof, no-fail recipe that results to smooth, creamy pie every time. It takes very little time to prep and less than 15 minutes to bake. The hardest part? Waiting for it to fully set!
- Less than 10 ingredients. You’ll also need less than 10 ingredients to make it.
- No eggs. It also contains no eggs. So it’s safe to serve to your loved ones sensitive to them.
- Make ahead. Plus, you can make it up to 3 days ahead of when you’re serving it.
- Refreshing. This pie is so refreshing which makes it perfect to end a hearty meal. Serve it on Thanksgiving, the holidays, Easter or any celebration.
- Delicious. And if you grew up drinking calamansi juice, every bite of this pie is a wonderful blast to the past.
How to make
If you make key lime pies or lemon pies, making calamansi pie is very similar. You’ll need similar ingredients, just swapping out the kind of citrus you’re using.
Ingredients and baking tools
Key things to note:
- Graham cracker crumbs — I always use pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs when baking so they’re very fine. If not available, you can use the crackers and just crush them yourself.
- Condensed milk — It’s best to use full fat milk for the richest and creamiest texture.
- Sour cream — I always use sour cream in this recipe. If you’re looking for a substitute, this is a great reference.
- Calamansi — Fresh calamansi fruit is rare in these parts so we always use calamansi extract (see picture above). Note that this is different from calamansi concentrate, which is used primarily to make juice and contains honey. You can’t use calamansi concentrate in this recipe.
I use a 9-inch pie dish or pie plate in this recipe and mix everything by hand.
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter until evenly moist, resembling wet sand.
Transfer mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and press firmly and evenly onto the bottom and slightly up the sides.
For the calamansi filling, combine condensed milk, sour cream and calamansi juice. Stir until smooth and incorporated.
Transfer the calamansi mixture into prepared pie dish and smoothen the top.
Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the pie (usually beginning at the sides). The middle of your pie should have a slight jiggle but set everywhere else.
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly then refrigerate for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Expert baking tips
It’s that simple! Here are more tips for perfectly creamy and dreamy pies every time.
- Taste mixture — the beauty of having no eggs in this pie recipe is that you can taste the filling at any time and adjust to your liking. Especially when using calamansi extract, brands don’t always taste the same. What I do is start with about ½ cup and add more until I get that perfect sweet and tart taste. I usually put ¾ cups and I recommend not to go over this amount.
- Watch baking time. This pie bakes fairly quickly and is easy to over bake. Every oven is different so watch for those tiny bubbles forming on the edges.
- Allow to set. And while you can certainly enjoy it fresh from the oven, it’s best when given the chance to chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Yes, you can use ready-made graham cracker crust (you will need two). Baking time remains the same.
You can’t use calamansi concentrate in this recipe because that contains honey. If you don’t have fresh calamansi juice, you can use calamansi extract.
You can find it in Asian supermarkets or in Amazon.
Calamansi pie is a great make-ahead dessert. You can make it up to 3 days ahead of when you’re planning of serving it.
Calamansi pie should be kept in a covered container in the fridge. It should keep for up to 5 days.
Other easy pie recipes
Not all pies involve a lot of work. These pie recipes are very easy to make and gone in a flash.
Calamansi Pie Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 10-oz cans condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup fresh calamansi juice or calamansi extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter until evenly moist, resembling wet sand.
- Transfer mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and press firmly and evenly onto the bottom and slightly up the sides. Set aside.
- For the calamansi filling, combine condensed milk, sour cream and calamansi juice or calamansi extract. Stir until smooth and incorporated.
- Transfer into prepared pie dish and smoothen the top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the pie (usually beginning at the sides). The middle of your pie should have a slight jiggle but set everywhere else.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly then chill in the fridge for 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- The number of servings depend on how big your pie slices are. Estimated nutrition information provided is based on 12 servings.
- This pie bakes fairly quickly and is easy to over bake. Every oven is different so watch for those tiny bubbles forming on the sides.
- I use prepared graham cracker crumbs which are very finely crushed.
- I also use bottled calamansi extract because it’s difficult to find fresh calamansi juice where I am. Different brands don’t always taste the same so I start with 1 bottle (150-ml) and add to taste. I usually add ¾ cup (190-ml) and I recommend not to go over this amount.
Nutritional information are estimates only.