These Key Lime Bars have all the great flavor of the classic pie but are even better because they are portable. The crumbly cookie crust, tart filling and cloud-like meringue topping are so easy to make and can be whipped up in a snap!
- 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs separated (reserve the whites for the meringue)
- 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon of grated key lime zest
- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed key lime juice
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon of key lime juice
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with butter. Place a layer of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan with flaps of parchment hanging over the narrow edges. This will help with the removal of the bars once they are baked. Grease the parchment with butter.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until incorporated.
Add the egg yolks and mix to combine.
Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly but will hold together when pressed between your fingers.
Press the cookie dough into the prepared pan.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Remove the crust from the oven and set aside to cool. While the crust is cooling, make the filling and topping.
To make the filling, whisk together the condensed milk, key lime juice and key lime zest together in a bowl. Set aside.
To make the meringue topping, place the egg whites and lime juice in a clean bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until the eggs are foamy.
Once the eggs start to foam slowly add the sugar. Whip until all the sugar is incorporated and egg whites are opaque, glossy and can hold a medium peak.
To assemble the tart, spoon the key lime filling onto the cooled cookie crust and spread to the edges.
Top the key lime filling with the meringue and spread out with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
Place the bars in the 350°F oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Next, turn on the broiler to toast the topping. Do not walk away! This only takes one to two minutes. Once the topping is browned, remove the bars from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before using the overhanging parchment flaps to remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.
Cut the bars into 12 equal pieces and serve.