Monday, June 27, 2011

Lime Bars

We all know that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. But what if life offers you limes at ten for a buck. Well, I suppose Margaritas come to mind first, but if you’re a dessert-lover like me, you might be thinking lime bars. I know I was.

I was probably thinking lime bars because I had this lemon bar recipe (and nice photos) in my mind when I stumbled across the good deal on limes. It seemed it would be a simple substitution of lime juice for the lemon juice. Harry, who is a Key lime pie fiend, was, of course, enthusiastic, but he wouldn’t let me stop at, “I’m going to make you some lime bars.” No. He, in all his Key lime pie fiend-ness, said, “You could make them with a graham cracker crust and they’d be more like Key lime pie.”

Blink. Blink. “Of course they would,” I said, but I was thinking, “Idiot! Why didn’t I think of that?” The important thing is that somebody thought of it and somebody made the bars that way and they were delicious.

The graham cracker crust does take the bars a little more toward the Key lime pie category. It is fairly thick and sturdy, sturdy enough to allow one to pick up small squares of the dessert with one’s fingers if desired. (We didn’t eat it in small squares.) And if you’ve really got Key lime pie on the brain, you could serve each bar with a dollop of whipped cream. I simply sprinkled powdered sugar on some of the bars, found that it didn’t make that much difference, except to hide the not-that-attractive top of the lime custard layer, and left it off of subsequent servings. No time!

These bars are pleasantly pucker-y (actually quite tart) and would be nicely refreshing on a hot and sunny summer day. I say “would be” because we haven’t had any of those in a while. Oh well, they’re good in any weather and quite easy to make, especially if you have a food processor in which to mix the crust. (If you don’t have one, you can crush the graham crackers and mix the crust by hand.) And I might as well be making them now, in the cold and rain. As soon as it gets warm and sunny, there could be something else that life might give me that I’ll have to figure out how to use. Like zucchini.

Lime Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
Adapted from a recipe in Baking Bites

8 ounces graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted

4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup lime juice, strained of pulp
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

powdered sugar to garnish if desired

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or brush with melted butter). Set aside.

2. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process to coarse crumbs. Add the 2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Process until well mixed.

3. Pour the graham cracker crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan. Press into the pan evenly and firmly. Bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven.

4. While the crust is baking, combine the eggs and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the lime juice and vanilla extract.

5. Pour the egg mixture over the baked and still warm crust. Return to the oven and bake at 375 F about 18 minutes, or until the filling is set and only jiggles slightly when shaken. Cool completely or chill if desired. Cut into squares to serve. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Makes at least 16 servings. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for a few days.

Another recipe like this one: Rhubarb Custard Bars

One year ago: Szechuan Broccoli and Water Chestnut Stir Fry, Broccoli Stem and Kohlrabi Slaw

Two years ago: Sweet and Tart Broccoli Salad

1 comment:

  1. I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: