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 theyre giving fruit away by the bagful. And since my father has a big sweet-tooth (which E. and I have inherited), hes 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 doesnt 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 its a history that keeps evolving. The family citrus grove seems to produce more calamondins than any other fruit, so a few years ago, in an effort to do something with them, I started using them instead of lemons in the pie recipe. Theyre 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 Ive ever had. Similar to a graham cracker crust, it holds up well when sliced and has a nice crumb. Now, having said that, Im going to warn you that its 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 youre going to be making this pie for other people, you might want to consider using a traditional pastry or graham cracker crust, but if youre 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