I’m in a Caribbean state of mind.
I may have had the best key lime pie of my life last weekend in St. Lucia.
You can imagine how fresh the limes tasted and how each bite literally melted in my mouth. It had this incredible fresh whipped cream on top and a thick banana cream sauce and chocolate sauce swirled on the plate. To die for! The first thing I threw into my shopping cart after I got back to Maryland was key lime juice.
I’ve had a 4 day craving for more key lime pie and after I made these… I surely got my fill.
Baking key lime pie squares is much less daunting than baking key lime pie. Well, for me at least. There’s no fear that your slices of pie will turn out ugly. I aim to avoid ugly food at all costs, so these easy squares came to life.
NO words can do these squares justice. When I took the first bite, I stepped back in my kitchen and told Kevin, “these are the best thing I’ve ever baked.” Truly, they are. The combination of cool, creamy, tart lime filling sitting atop a spicy sweet gingersnap crust is unbelievable. And I made sure to make an extra thick gingersnap crust. For obvious reasons.
These key lime pie squares are truly one of the most refreshing, flavorful summer desserts I’ve had. And you know what? They are insanely easy to make. Why spend hours slaving away in your kitchen? With these, you don’t have to.
The crust is made from gingersnap cookies and butter. Truly, does it get any better than that? I used hard and crunchy gingersnap cookies that I found at the store in the cookie aisle. If you use homemade gingersnaps, make sure they are crunchy. You could also use graham cracker crumbs in lieu of the gingersnaps. However, I strongly recommend the sweet/spicy gingersnap cookies to pair with the key lime.
The filling is tart, creamy, and sweet. The perfect balance of all three. Not sour in the slightest. For the best flavor, make sure you use key lime juice. It is usually with the regular lime and the lemon juice in the juice aisle.
The filling is simple; just 4 ingredients (minus the lime zest!). You’ll need key lime juice, egg yolks, fresh lime zest, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese. Cream cheese isn’t a typical ingredient in key lime pie, but I wanted the filling to have a slight cheesecake taste. There is only 4 ounces of it in the filling, and that small amount still manages to produce the creamiest key lime pie bar in the world. Truly, you don’t want to leave it out. Make sure you don’t use fat free.
Don’t leave out the lime zest. It gives the filling some colorful speckles, not to mention even more lime flavor. You’ll need the zest from one regular lime and then you can cut it up to arrange some pretty decor on top.
After baking the squares, you must let them cool completely and then chill in the refrigerator. What torture – two hours until you can dig in! Trust me, it’s worth it.
Are you hungry yet? Because I don’t have any key lime pie squares left to share. Sorry?
Truly my new favorite dessert!
Makes 16 squares. Store squares in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 1 week, if they last that long! Use Gluten free gingersnap cookies to ensure bars are gluten free, if desired.
- 2 cups finely crushed crunchy gingersnap cookies (or graham crackers)
- 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 large egg yolks*
- 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest (about 1 lime)
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on the sides, and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Make the crust: Pulverize the crunchy gingersnap cookies into a fine crumb with a food processor. Pour into a medium sized bowl and mix with the melted butter. Press firmly and evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes as you make the filling.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest until combined. Pour into the warm crust.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges of the bars begin to brown. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, place the the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours.
- Once chilled, lift the bars out of the pan using the aluminum foil overhang. Cut into squares.
*What to do with the extra egg whites? I made an egg white omelet. Or you can make
Recipe Source: sallysbakingaddiction.com
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Today’s dessert reminded me of a few recipes I’ve made recently.
Have you tried any of them?
Do you love Key Lime Pie as much as I do? My best friend Amy (also my bridesmaid!) has key lime pie every year for her birthday, not birthday cake. Now that’s love! ♥