Juice 23 key limes!?!? 23+ reasons why I don’t love you as much as Martha Stewart evidently must…

One of my favorite dessert flavors is lime, though I must admit it’s sorely neglected in my repetoire. I’m not sure if the lime intimidates me or what the deal is, actually, but it is hardly ever found in the house. When I jumped on the opportunity to make a dessert for tonight’s Latin/Dessert fellowship with the moms and tutor of Hannah’s class, lime something immediately came to mind. After a quick search online (thank you, Al Gore for the Internets), I found a recipe on a blog with gorgeous pictures of the blogger’s creation. A key lime bar, without the hassle of a pie crust–because let’s face it, I volunteered to bring something as a way to procrastinate all the other things I need to be preparing for right now–seemed like the perfect summer choice.

After scrolling through all the beautiful pictures, however, I started reading the recipe in earnest so I could compile my grocery list. She credited Martha Stewart Living with the original, and that was my first clue that this would not be an ordinary recipe. Then I came upon this little doozy: 2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice , (about 23 Key limes total) TWENTY THREE LIMES, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? Add this to the fact that I needed to double the recipe, and the thought of juicing 46 limes sent me into peals of laughter. Seriously. I don’t think so. My intention was to procrastinate tackling my other projects, not die juicing close to 50 tiny limes and leave my family with the mess to clean up. Thankfully there are products for lazy, non-Martha-Stewart-types like me: bottled lime juice. I have no shame in admitting that I proudly bought 2 cups of the time saver. I don’t even care if you tell Martha Stewart about me. She’s probably too busy constructing her own solar-powered hair dryer right now to care.

Decisions, decisions…. Bottled lime juice vs. a juicing fest….

I encourage you to do the same should you choose to make this recipe it home. And I do encourage you to make this recipe at home. It’s delightfully tart with a crunchy graham cracker crust, and looks so attractive when served in the muffin cups. Hopefully the moms at the dessert fellowship will enjoy them tonight, and not feel bitterness towards me, even though I must not love them as much as Martha Stewart would…

Key Lime Bars
Martha Stewart Living

1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice , (about 23 Key limes total)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk, (14 ounces)
2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons

Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.(Leave oven on.)

Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes.

Since I wedged the sweetened condensed milk cans inbetween the mixer and the bowl, I was able to let it pour in a “slow steady stream” while I went downstairs to switch my loads of laundry. You don’t suppose that would put me back in Martha’s good graces, do you?

Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.

Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula. Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).

Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars. Garnish bars with whipped cream and a slice of lime.

One of my favorite pictures. Notice the small finger print in one of the squares, lovingly pressed by one of my boys (who shall remain anonymous) who was admant that “it was an accident!”


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 15:16:37

    I so enjoy reading your posts! You are a very creative and descriptive writer! I’ll have to remember this recipe and try it sometime soon. I’d love to eat one now!


  2. anna
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 12:26:53

    So, when did you get a Kitchen Aid? Don’t you LOVE it?!!


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