Key lime bars (kinda)

Key lime bars (kinda)

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Makes
20
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

To me, ‘key lime’, named for the Florida Keys where the genus of citrus once grew abundantly, has always had an exotic ring to it. So it was with great anticipation that I tried my first key lime pie, in Red Hook, Brooklyn no less, where Steve’s Authentic has been turning out the American southern speciality for twenty years. The pie was tangy, silky and crumbly, and I was an instant devotee, joining the bands of New Yorkers who go gaga for the combo. (You can find everything from key lime macarons to doughnuts, too.)

Also known as Mexican limes, key limes differ from regular Persian limes in tartness and flavour. You could loosely describe it as lime with a dash of lemon, which is what you can substitute if you can’t get your hands on the real stuff (which can be hard, particularly abroad). It’s also what I’ve used in these key lime-inspired bars with the most delicious lime-lemon curd and a crust so short and buttery it nearly disintegrates on contact.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
295g caster sugar
125ml lime juice
60ml lemon juice
finely grated zest of 1 lime
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
125g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
60ml thickened cream

Shortcrust base

Quantity Ingredient
200g unsalted butter, softened, chopped
75g icing sugar
200g plain flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt

Method

  1. Grease a 23 cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.
  2. To make the shortcrust base, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar for 2 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the flour and salt, and beat on low speed until just combined. Transfer to the tin then, using an offset spatula or your hands, press the mixture evenly over the base (I place a piece of baking paper on top to help). Refrigerate for 1 hour to firm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Bake the base for 18 minutes or until golden, then reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, juices and zest in a saucepan until well combined. Set the pan over medium heat, add the butter and whisk until melted and combined. Cook, whisking constantly, for a further 8 minutes or until thickened and the mixture almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream.
  6. Pour the lemon and lime curd through a sieve over the base and bake the slice for 13–15 minutes or until just cooked around edges (it should still have a slight wobble in the centre).
  7. Remove the slice from the oven and cool for 1 hour, then carefully remove the slice from the tin. Cut it into 20 even rectangles and serve at room temperature (for a meltin- your mouth crust). Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold, and serve chilled. The bars will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. (Warm them briefly in the microwave if you want to achieve that super short crust again.)
Tags:
Desserts
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