Key Lime Bars

For those of you who know me, I am a big fan of key lime desserts:  Key Lime Pie, Limeade Pie, Key Lime Frozen Yogurt, Yoplait’s Key Lime yogurt, etc.  My grandfather, Poppy, was the only other person I knew who loved key lime as much as I did.  I think we had similar tastes when it came to desserts!  He would always buy me a Key Lime Pie from Chez Bazan Bakery in Tyler, Texas whenever I would visit him.  Chez Bazan would always drizzle lime green swirled lines over the whipped cream portion of the pie.  Super tart and super good!
These Key Lime Bars I made are some of the easiest and best tasting lime bars you can make.  The recipe is from Martha Stewart and they are fool-proof.  The crust is simply sugar, butter, and graham cracker crumbs pressed into a glass baking dish and baked in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.   While that cools, you make the filling, which consists of egg yolks, lime zest, key lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk. Yes, there are only four ingredients in the filling!  I would eat these key lime bars over a traditional key lime pie almost any day of the week (however, I’ve never made a homemade key lime pie before, so I may be a little biased on these super easy bars.)  If you have heavy cream on hand, I would recommend making the whipped cream to spoon on top of the key lime bars.  The whipped cream is so much richer and has a sweeter taste than plain old Reddi-wip.  That’s not to say I don’t like Reddi-wip… with only 15 calories a squirt, I squirted a very generous amount on these bars!  Enjoy.
Combine sugar, butter, and graham cracker crumbs.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

Beat egg yolks and lime zest on high until thick, about 5 minutes.  Use a wire whisk attachment with your stand mixer.

Beat in sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice.

Pour onto cooled graham cracker crust and bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree F oven.

Cool completely, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.  Slice.

Serve with homemade whipped cream or the simple Reddi-wip topping.

Key Lime Bars
1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tbsp finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice, (about 23 limes total)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk, (14 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half moons

1.  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.)
2.  Make filling:  Put egg yolk and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with 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.
3.  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).
4.  Cut into 2-by-2 inch bars.  Put cream in a clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment.  Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Garnish bars with whipped cream and a slice of lime.  Ungarnished bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Yield: 16 bars
Martha Stewart

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