A Delectable Blend of two Citrus Bars, the Key Lime and Lemon Bar over a Graham Cracker Crust and Topped with Homemade Sweetened Whipped Cream
I have been in a citrus mood lately. Since the time I made baked grapefruit donuts, I cannot seem to get enough! Next on my list is grapefruit curd which my hopes is that it will work fantastic in an almond cake. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
Still indecisive about the flavor of almonds.
I’m sure you’ve seen the classic lemon bars, right? Or perhaps key lime bars? I never understood the craze of these bars. I’ve tried key lime pie and have even made it into an ice cream. I thought it was good, nothing “crazy-out-of-this-world” kind of good but certainly enjoyable on a nice hot summers day. However, the idea of a lemon bar sort of puts a sour taste in my mouth, literally! As if taking a bite would somehow be a punch of sourness causing my eyes to squeeze tight, cheeks sucked in, and the whole nine. I’m sure this is the wrong idea because I know lemon desserts are always sweetened with sugar intentionally to reduce that zing and for that reason, I needed to make this on my own and see what the fuss was all about.
But here’s the catch! If there’s one thing you must know about when I create recipes, I simply cannot stick to the basics. I always feel a need to mix things together or make it into a mini version of the original. You know, put my own little twist on it. In this case, mixing the two flavored bars only seemed natural. It’s a thing I’ve got much like my triple citrus poppy seed muffins. Why can’t I just stick with the traditional lemon poppy seed muffin?
Because it’s too easy.
I’ve got to say, I am full on impressed by the flavor of these bars. Better yet, impressed by the reaction I received. I thought it was quite amusing to see two people disagree on what they felt which flavor was more prominent. My sister, Tiffany, who enjoys lemon but cannot stand lime thought the flavor had more of a lemon-y taste whereas her fiancé can’t stand the taste of lemons but enjoyed these bars because he sensed more of the lime flavor. Either way, as long as you like it and finish it then, I’m good! 🙂
So when you make these for yourself, let me know what you think. Did you taste more lemon or more lime flavor? I’d love to know!Print
LEMON LIME BARS
- 1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons lime zest, grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
- 1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced into half-moons (optional)
- 1/4 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1 – 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
LEMON LIME BARS
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving excess foil hang over two opposite sides for easy removal.
- In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Note: use the back of a measuring cup to firmly press crumbs together.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until dry and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool in pan over a wire rack. Leave oven on.
- In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, 1 ½ teaspoon lime zest, and lemon zest on high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, continue mixing. Increase speed to high and mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add both lime and lemon juice and continue to mix until just combined. Using an angled spatula, spread filling evenly over crust.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until filling is just set. Allow to cool completely over a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 2-inch squares.
- In a large chilled bowl using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar together until soft peaks form. Taste, add an additional tablespoon of powdered sugar if needed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Place a dollop of whipped cream over each bar or fill a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (I used Wilton’s 1B). Garnish bars with remaining ½ teaspoon lime zest lemon half-moons over whipped cream. ENJOY!
Lemon Lime Bars recipe was adapted from Key Lime Bars