Orange Key Lime Bars

10 Jan

I  intended to make key lime bars.   There were at least 20 little limes in the bag that I bought.  I over-estimated the amount of juice I would get out of each tiny lime.  The crust was already made and cooling, the condensed milk opened and I needed just a little more juice.  The juice from one orange made up the difference.  It turns out that the orange juice was much more than just a stand in. The juice lends a complex, floral note to the custard and the tiny strands of orange and green zest that thread through the bars are very pretty.  You can use this recipe to make a pie, just form and bake it in a pie plate. And if you have enough key limes on hand, feel free to omit the orange juice.

Orange Key Lime Bars – Recipe, slightly adapted, from Joe’s Stone Crab Miami, via Martha Stewart

1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons graham cracker finely ground graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup sugar

5 tablespoons butter

3 large egg yolks

2/3 cup key lime and orange juice, freshly squeezed.  I ended up with  80% key lime juice, 20% orange juice.

Zest from 1 orange and 3 key limes

1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

Pre-heat an oven 350º.

In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  Mix well to combine.  Pat the cracker mixture into the bottom of an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes or until dry and just golden brown. Let cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks and zest until thick – 5 minutes or so.  Reduce  speed to medium and slowly add the condensed milk.  Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides.  Turn mixer on high and mix for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and add the juice.  Mix until just combined.

Spread the filling over the graham cracker crust and bake until set, 10 – 12 minutes.  Rotate half way through baking.  Let cool completely and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.  These really do get better if they refrigerate for a while, they were good after 5 hours in the fridge and better the next day.

Garnish with whipped cream or meringue.  Enjoy!

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