Another one of the items on my wedding dessert table, these key lime bars had to be hands down my favourite; the limes were so tart and floral, and they paired so well with the sweet graham crumb base, it was a definite struggle to not pick away at it after it had baked and cooled, but instead be responsible and box it up for the wedding guests!
While the photo does not do them justice (they were sliced into mini bite-sized squares for the dessert table and as a result got a little squished), I proudly stand by this little recipe, and hope you will give this a try the next time key limes are in season! Original recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart’s food website.
*My personal recommendation would be to make these as bite-size individual tarts, using a mini-muffin pan (I wish I had thought of that in time for my wedding!)*
Key Lime Bars
If you can’t find Key limes or don’t wish to zest and juice 2 dozen teeny-tiny little limes, you can use regular fresh lime juice. Won’t be as amazingly good as with Key limes, but probably still quite tasty.
YIELD: Makes about 16 regular size bars (2″x2″)
1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 22-24 Key limes)
1 tin sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream, kept refrigerated until needed
2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons
Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on.)
Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.
Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula. Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Carefully lever entire block onto clean cutting surface and cut into 2-by-2-inch bars*. Pour cold cream into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a clean and dry whisk attachment (for a rapid whip, it is recommended to refrigerate/freeze your bowl and whisk attachment for at least 1/2 hour prior to whipping the cream). Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. This can also be done by hand.
Garnish bars with a whipped cream rosette and a thin half slice of lime.
*When cutting bars, be sure to use a long, sharp knife, dipped frequently in hot water and wiped clean before every cut.
Baker’s Note: Ungarnished bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.