Recipe for Glorious Key Lime Bars – These are so smooth. So creamy. So rich and dreamy. So bursting with juicy freshness. Once you have a bite, it’s really all but impossible to stop. Oh lawd, I have to fan myself just thinking about it.
4 cups (550 g) graham cracker crumbs (use graham crackers from this recipe, or store bought)
1/4 cup (55 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks (170 g) unsalted butter
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) key lime juice
12 egg yolks
3 cans sweetened condensed milk (each can is 396 g, so a total of 1188 g)
For the lime gelee (a completely optional step, and mostly done for garnish purposes):
1/3 cup (80 ml) key lime juice
1/3 cups (70 g) sugar
2/3 cups (140 ml) water
1 envelope (7 g) powdered gelatin
green food coloring
For the crust:
In a food processor, pulse enough graham crackers to yield 4 cups. Stir in the sugar.
Melt the butter and pour over crumbs. Stir that around until all the crumbs are well-moistened.
Line a 13 x 18″ sheet pan with parchment paper. Press the crumbs into the pan, packing well, and keeping the bottom as even as possible. Set aside.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Once you’ve squeezed enough limes to yield 1/2 cups of juice, proceed with whipping the egg yolks on high speed in a mixer. They start out quite yellow, but after two or three become pale and thick, and leave a ribbon trail when drizzled.
Pour in the condensed milks, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, just to get them incorporated.
Then add the juice, and mix that for another 30 seconds. When the mix all looks smooth, pour it over the crumbs.
And shake the pan a bit just to distribute the filling evenly. Pop this in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
It will be hard to tell visually if it’s baked through, but it will continue to firm up even as it cools. Just make sure that there is no wet puddle in the center. If there is, give it another 5 minutes. If it looks set over the top when you wiggle the pan lightly, I’d call it done. This needs to cool, about an hour.
For the glaze:
Once cooled, you can make the glaze, if you are opting for this step.
Add the lime juice, water and sugar to a small pot.
Heat it just long enough to melt the sugar. It doesn’t even have to come to a boil, just be warm.
Off the heat, sprinkle the gelatin over the top, and let it rest for 5 minutes to absorb. You can then stir the liquid until the gelatin is completely dissolved, and everything looks clear.
Add food coloring to your liking. I literally added it one drop at a time, stirred, assessed the color, and went for another drop until I was satisfied. All in all, there were 4 drops in mine.
Working quickly, pour the liquid over the top of the sheet pan and wiggle the pan around until the entire top is coated.
Now refrigerate this for at least two hours, to let everything set and firm up.