KEY LIME BARS
Makes sixteen 2-inch bars. Published July 1, 2006.
If you cannot find fresh Key limes, use regular (Persian) limes. Do not
use bottled lime juice. Grate the zest from the limes before juicing
them, avoiding the bitter white pith that lies just beneath the
outermost skin. The optional coconut garnish adds textural interest and
tames the lime flavor for those who find it too intense. The recipe can
be doubled and baked in a 13- by 9-inch baking pan; you will need a
double layer of extra-wide foil for the pan (each sheet about 20 inches
in length) and should increase the baking times by a minute or two.
5 ounces animal crackers
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark)
Pinch table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
2 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
1 tablespoon grated lime zest , minced
Pinch table salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice , either Key lime or regular
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut , toasted until golden and crisp
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Cut about 12-inch length extra-wide heavy-duty foil; fold cut edges
back to form 7 1/2-inch width. With folded sides facing down, fit foil
securely into bottom and up sides of 8-inch-square baking pan, allowing
excess to overhang pan sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. TO MAKE THE CRUST: In workbowl of food processor, pulse animal
crackers until broken down, about ten 1-second pulses; process crumbs
until evenly fine, about 10 seconds (you should have about 1 1/4 cups
crumbs). Add brown sugar and salt; process to combine, ten to twelve
1-second pulses (if large sugar lumps remain, break them apart with
fingers). Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly
moistened with butter, about ten 1-second pulses. Press crumbs evenly
and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown,
18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Do not turn
3. TO MAKE THE FILLING: While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream
cheese, zest, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and
thoroughly combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk vigorously
until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain; whisk in egg
yolk. Add lime juice and whisk gently until incorporated (mixture will
4. TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Pour filling into crust; spread to corners and
smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to
pull away slightly from sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack to
room temperature, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate
until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
5. Loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using
foil extensions; cut bars into 16 squares. Sprinkle with toasted
coconut, if using, and serve. (Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 2
days; crust will soften slightly. Let bars stand at room temperature
about 15 minutes before serving.)
Building Key Lime Bars
1. Line pan with foil sling, then coat with cooking spray.
2. Press crumb mixture firmly and evenly into pan.
3. Pour filling into prebaked crust and spread into corners.
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We fixed for 4th of July, 2009.. DEFINITELY YUMMY!!!