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Melanie's Key Lime Bars From "Tree to Table" Print E-mail

Melanie, our correspondent from Florida, picked the Key Limes for this recipe right off a tree in her back yard. If you don't live where Key Limes grow, you can always use bottled key lime juice or even lemon juice instead.

You'll need:

  • 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter - cut into pieces
  • cooking spray
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 cup of Key Lime juice or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar - for garnish


  • A food processor
  • A 13 by 9 inch cookie pan with sides
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • A medium sized bowl
  • A whisk
  • A cooling rack or hot pads
  • A pizza cutter
  • A plate
  • A paper doily
  • A sieve with a handle
  • A bowl just big enough to hold the sieve upright
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray cooking spray on the 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Line the pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Spray the paper with cooking spray and set to the side.
  3. Put the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt into the food processor. You want to "pulse" the processor - turning it on in short bursts until the mixture is pale yellow and it has formed clumps that look like corn meal.
  4. Sprinkle the mixture into the lined pan and use your fingers to press the crust mixture into an even layer about 1/3 of an inch thick on the bottom and a 1/4 of an inch up the side.
  5. Place the pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Take it out of the refrigerator and put it into the oven. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes until the crust is golden and the edges are just slightly brown.
  7. Take the crust out of the oven and let it cool. While it's cooling, make the filling.
  8. After you have baked the crust, reduce the heat in the oven to 325 degrees.
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and flour until smooth. Next, stir in the Key Lime juice, milk and salt. Stir until everything is blended well.
  10. You may need a little help pouring the filling into the warm crust.
  11. Once the filing is in the crust it will be a little difficult to get it into the oven without spilling some. Let dad or your adult helper do this part.
  12. Bake the Key Lime bars for 20 minutes or until firm.
  13. Take the Key Lime bars out of the oven and set them on the cooling rack or hot pads for about 30 minutes.
  14. When the pan is cooled, ask for adult help. It will take both of you to lift the sheet of key lime bars out of the pan. Working together, grab the edges of the of wax paper and move the whole sheet over to a cutting board.
  15. Fold edges of wax paper back. Using a pizza cutter, to cut the sheet into squares or bars.
  16. Place a paper doily on a plate and arrange the bars in an attractive manner.
  17. Put the sieve into the bowl and put the powdered sugar into it. Gently lift the sieve over the bars and give it just a little shake. Some of the powdered sugar will drop down onto the bars. Move the sieve over the plate full of Key Lime bars, giving it tiny shakes as you go until the bars are all lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Tags: Desserts Lime