May 9, 2012

Tart and Sweet


There was no way that these lime bars weren't going to be perfection.  A graham cracker crust studded with bright green pistachios and lime zest?  A simple custard-like filling made with just sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and 2 egg yolks?  I mean have you ever just dipped a spoon into a can of sweetened condensed milk?  It's so dreamy.  These bars are so dreamy.

I have this vision that these would make a nice dainty dessert to serve after a weekend brunch or a leisurely afternoon tea.  Instead of  baking in a 8-inch square pan, use an 8-inch spring form.  Press the crust just onto the bottom and bake as instructed.  Once the crust has cooled, smear a thin layer of raspberry jam (the kind with seeds!) over the whole thing and then carefully top with the custard.  Bake again until set.  Cut into slivers and admire the pretty colorful layers.

Either way, in slivers or squares these zippy lime bars are the bee's knees.  The cat's pajamas.  They're like the love child of lemon bars and key lime pie, with a little pistachio thrown into the mix.  It might be the sugar talking here, but limes just may be my new favorite citrus.


Lime Squares with Pistachios and Graham
Adapted from Martha Stewart

There was some emphasis in the original recipe to use unsalted butter and raw unsalted pistachios so that the bars don't come out too salty. But I'm here to say that I only had salted butter and salted pistachios in their shell, and everything came out a-okay. Not salty at all. Just maybe avoid the shelled pistachio nutmeats that are salted. And though it should go without saying, none of that bottled lime juice either (yick!), you only have to squeeze about 4 limes here.

16 squares


Crust:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
4 ounces graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an entire 8x8 baking dish with foil. Spray with non-stick spray.

In a food processor, finely grind pistachios with graham crackers, sugar, and zest. Blend in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Add lime juice; whisk until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving. Using the foil overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife between each cut.

1 comment:

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