Lip-Puckering Key Lime Bars

KL1Key lime is one ingredient that I have never worked with. When I was grocery shopping last weekend I stumbled upon a huge display of key limes and I squealed. The produce guy looked at me like I was crazy but I immediately grabbed a bag and started thinking about what I would make.KL6

Key lime pie and key lime cheesecake are two of my most favorite desserts. I am just not crazy about super sweet and rich desserts; I’ll indulge once in a while. But key lime anything? I am always, always here for. The fragrance, the flavor, the tartness, the tingle in the back of my jaw? My favorite!

The taste of the creamy filling instantly makes me smile. I can’t wait to play with key lime more over this summer.

Be warned: this recipe is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t like sour things, if you’re afraid of a little puckering- use less lime juice or add a whipped cream topping too, but this recipe is for champs.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

For the crust:

  • 1 (heaping) cup of finely ground graham crackers
  • 6 tbsp melted unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp of key lime zest
  • 2/3 cups of freshly squeeze key lime juice
  • 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Reserve one key lime for garnish (either zest or thinly slice)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In the microwave or on the stove, melt your butter.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into a fine crumb.KL3
  4. Slowly add the melted butter. The graham crackers will resemble wet sand.
  5. Spray your baking dish with cooking spray.
  6.  Line your baking dish.(I recommend an 8 x 8 or the next size up, which is what I used) with parchment paper (I did not and I had a helluva time removing my bars despite using cooking spray. I did that so you won’t have to go through that.)
  7. Spread your ground crackers into the dish and press down to make an even layer with your fingers.KL5
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes, the crust will be fragrant.
  9. Carefully remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and allow it to cool on a baking rack.
  10. While the crust is baking, zest your key limes and juice them (strain seeds).KL6KL7KL8
  11. Separate the yolks from the whites.KL9KL10
  12. In the bowl of a mixer, add the yolk and the lime zest.
  13. Using your whisk attachment, mix the yolk and zest on high until it thickens (at least 5 minutes)
  14. Reduce the speed, and in a steady stream, slowly add the condensed milk.
  15. Raise the speed back up to high until the mixture thickens.
  16. Once thickened, reduce speed, add the lime juice and mix until it is combined.
  17. Spread the filling over the cooled crust.KL11
  18. Bake for about 15 minutes (it should be set, but it should not brown).
  19. Halfway through rotate the dish. (Again it should not brown.)
  20. Remove from oven and place on baking rack, allow to cool thoroughly.KL12
  21. Chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight to allow them to fully set and firm up.

 

Optional:

  • Whip ¼ c and 1-2 tsp of confectioners sugar heavy cream in the bowl of your stand mixer on high until stiff peaks form and top your bars with whipped cream.
  • Garnish with lime zest or thin slices of lime

KL13KL14KL15KL18

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved