I grew up having a contest with my brother to see who could eat the most Sour War Heads in one sitting. The roof of my mouth was always destroyed and it was worth it every time. It is safe to say that I love all things sour and anything that highlights citrus flavors. I found this recipe from our girl Claire Saffitz in her Dessert Person cookbook and I was intrigued; not many desserts highlight limes, so I had to give it a try. These bars are so refreshing & also TART, these are the perfect dessert for a person like me who loves a good lip pucker, if you are like me, I HIGHLY recommend them. You need an 8×8-inch pan for this recipe.
- Butter for the pan
- 2 TBSP finely grated Lime Zest, takes about 3 limes
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 TBSP Finely Chopped Fresh Mint
- 1/4 TSP Baking Powder
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2-in pieces, chilled
Lime Curd Filling
- 3/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice, about 7 limes
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice, about 1 Large Lemon
- 1 TSP Cornstarch
- 1 Cup Sugar, divided into 1/2 cups
- 5 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 Large Egg
- 6 TBSP Unsalted Butter, cut into tablespoons, chilled
- Powdered Sugar & Lime Zest for serving
Let’s Get Baking
Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Line the baking pan with two sheets of foil, crossing one over the other. Butter the bottom of the sides of the foil and set the pan aside.
Onto the shortbread crust: In a medium bowl, use your fingertips to massage the lime zest into the granulated sugar until fragrant oils are released and the mixture looks like wet sand. Add in the flour + chopped mint + baking powder + salt and toss to combine. Add in the pieces of chilled butter and toss to coat in the flour mixture. Use your fingers to smash the butter completely into the flour mixture, working until you have lots of moist crumbs that hold together easily when squeezed.
Transfer the shortbread dough onto the prepared pan and scatter the crumbs easily across the bottom. Use your hands to flatten the crumbs into an even layer across the bottom. Bake the shortbread until lightly golden across the surface, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Reduce the oven temp to 300F. Let the crust cool while making the filling.
To make the lime curd filling: In a small saucepan, combine lime juice + lemon juice + cornstarch + salt and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and cook over MED heat, whisking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a boil, whisk constantly until it thickens slightly from the cornstarch, about 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks + whole egg + remaining 1/2 cup until the mixture is smooth, thick, and has paled in color a couple shades, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the hot citrus mixture into the eggs a TBSP at a time to slowly raise the temperature, until you’ve added about half the citrus mixture to the eggs.
Whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan, then set back over MED-LOW heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the curd turns opaque is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and barely holds the marks of the whisk, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat and whisk in the butter a piece at a time, waiting until each piece melts before adding the next until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the hot curd over the crust and shake the pan gently so it settles in an even layer. Bake the bars until the sides have puffed & the center is set but still a bit wobbly when you shake it, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven & let the bars cool completely in the pan.
Transfer the cooled pan to the fridge and chill until the bottom of the pan is cold to the touch, about 1 hour. Remove the foil & cut it into about 16 squares. Dust with powdered sugar and top with more lime zest before serving.
Made with Love,