My friend Lisa had to go and talk about her home away from home in Florida. Oh yea, that's all it took for me to start thinking of Key Lime Pie, but I just couldn't work myself up to making pastry crust, and well that's how new recipes are built. I didn't want a typical graham cracker crust - so try the butter cookie crust that I adapted from the Neely's. My filling is better!
Tangy Key Lime Bars on a sweet butter cookie crust
Sweet butter cookie crust
1 cup unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch kosher salt
Tangy Key Lime Filling
• 3 large egg yolks
• 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime zest
• 2/3 of a cup of fresh squeezed lime juice (about 23 tiny key limes or 2/3 cup of regular Persian lime juice from the larger Persian limes
• 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray.
To make the crust, combine the butter and confectioner sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, and mix another minute, until well combined.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and pat out to an even thickness over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 20 minutes until it is just barely taking on color. It will be baked more later. Remove from the oven, and cool on a baking rack.
To make the Tangy Key Lime filling, whisk the egg yolks and lime zest together until the yolks have increased in volume and become thick and creamy looking, then add condensed milk and stir together until fully incorporated. Add key lime juice and mix well. Ok, you can do this with an electric mixer if you insist. But better biceps aren't just born ya know.
Carefully pour mixture onto cooled crust, smooth surface and bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. When completely cool, refrigerate until ready to serve. We're talking four hours, for complete cooling and the filling setting up firmly.
You can serve each bar with a thin slice of lime if you'd like. Or a dollop of sweet whipped cream.
Pardon me while I go walk off my key lime bars.