Key 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.
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.
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)
- Preheat oven to 350
- In the microwave or on the stove, melt your butter.
- In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into a fine crumb.
- Slowly add the melted butter. The graham crackers will resemble wet sand.
- Spray your baking dish with cooking spray.
- 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.)
- Spread your ground crackers into the dish and press down to make an even layer with your fingers.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, the crust will be fragrant.
- Carefully remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and allow it to cool on a baking rack.
- While the crust is baking, zest your key limes and juice them (strain seeds).
- Separate the yolks from the whites.
- In the bowl of a mixer, add the yolk and the lime zest.
- Using your whisk attachment, mix the yolk and zest on high until it thickens (at least 5 minutes)
- Reduce the speed, and in a steady stream, slowly add the condensed milk.
- Raise the speed back up to high until the mixture thickens.
- Once thickened, reduce speed, add the lime juice and mix until it is combined.
- Spread the filling over the cooled crust.
- Bake for about 15 minutes (it should be set, but it should not brown).
- Halfway through rotate the dish. (Again it should not brown.)
- Remove from oven and place on baking rack, allow to cool thoroughly.
- Chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight to allow them to fully set and firm up.
- 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
© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved