When you think limes what do you think of? Margaritas? Don’t lie… you know you do. Second thought that comes to mind? Key Lime Bars. Oh yes friends. Freaking key lime bars.
It is lime season. Well technically the season peaks all summer (May-Oct). And when life hands you lime, these Key Lime Bars are the way to go.
Life has been very limey lately. Not necessary all sour but just more tart than normal. For example… my car played a funny prank on us today.
Baby and I are off to an afternoon appointment today. I throw my purse in the car and turn the car on since it was hot hot hot out. Check. Shut car door so that the car would cool a bit before putting baby in car seat. Check. Go to open rear passenger door to sit baby in car seat. Fail. Tried opening ever other door. Fail. Fail Fail. Tired to open the trunk. Fail.
The car automatically locked us out. So there we were standing outside a running car with no car keys, no house keys, no phone, nothing. Fail. Luckily we had just met our new lovely neighbors this weekend and buttered them up with my One-bowl banana bread.
Thankfully one of our neighbors rescued us by letting me use his phone to call the hubs, who did not pick up. So next obvious step was to try to figure out how to break into my own home. Baby and I checked windows and doors until, voila! I left a door open. Go me! I guess… well probably not good. Fail/Win!!!
I think by the end of this whole thing, the neighbor ran over to our house like 4 times with call backs from the hubs (you know since I still did not have my phone). My favorite part of the whole thing is my neighbor stating that he is now retired and is excited to help people who need help. Oh sir… we need help… lots and lots of help.
All I can say to my car is well played. You are a little late on April Fools day but touche.
So with my mama bear instincts seriously tested today, I thought a treat was in order. Key lime bars it is. I’m talking tart and sweet, light and decadent, soft and custardy.
This recipe is different than the traditional Key Lime pie recipes in that it does not use sweetened condensed milk. At first I thought, NO WAY! How can it be this delicious without my beloved sweetened condensed milky love? Well it is.
And let me just say that this is my new favorite graham cracker crust in the whole wide crusty world! Why you ask? Because dates and coconut. That’s why! These 2 ingredients mixed in with the graham crackers make for a slightly sweet crust with tasty coconut flex.
Added bonus to these bars is that they are actually lighter in calories than other bars. Although this was not intentional, it is a nice perk. It means you can eat 2 instead of 1 on days like today. Also the crust and shape of the square pan makes the bars easier to slice and eat.
Moral is: Don’t get locked out of your car AND always eat Key Lime Bars.
Key Lime Bars
Slightly adapted from the Clever Carrot’s Key Lime Bars.
- 1½ cup crumbled graham crackers (about 11 whole crackers)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 2/3 cup lime juice, about 4-5 limes
- 2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper leaving extra to hang over the sides for easy removal.
Soften dates by soaking in warm water for 10 minutes. Remove the pits.
In a food processor, add the graham crackers, coconut flakes, dates and coconut oil. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand, crumbly but will compact if you press it with your fingers. If it is too dry, add a tiny bit of water to get it going. Pour crumble into lined pan and press the crumbs down into your lined pan to make crust.
For the key lime cream, mix the gelatin and a splash of water in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Bring the milk to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until well combined. Slowly whisk about ½ cup of the warm milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly (do not pour all of the milk at once as the eggs will curdle). Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pan of milk. Add the gelatin and lime juice. Turn heat to medium, and cook stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes .
Strain the mixture through a sieve directly over the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the lime cream so that it does not form a skin. Let the bars cool at room temperature before transferring to the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours
Garnish with toasted coconut flakes when it’s time to serve. Relax and enjoy.