Yikes--the summer is speeding by! You'd think I know that by just simply looking at the calendar, but in actuality I was scrolling through my photos after I did a much needed update on my computer last night and realized that I made these deliciously tropical and easy bars on July 4th and never posted them yet!! And it's already the second week of August!! Much apologies because these are the perfect summer treat. Just right for picnics or barbecues or Summer Olympics watching (are those athletes fabulous or what?!!) If lime is your thing, these are mouth puckering irresistible!!
I've made key lime bars many times before but these are by far my favorite and not only because they're easy to make and yield a large amount (more to eat--ha,ha!). I think it's the addition of the toasted coconut to the graham cracker crust that takes these from good to a must-make-again-asap treat!
And while the title references key limes, you can totally substitute the regular old lowly lime with stellar results.
Light and creamy, with a buttery graham cracker coconut crust and just the right ratio of tartness to sweetness, these hit the spot perfectly after dinner, or lunch or late at night or in the afternoon as a little pick me up--have I revealed too much?
Make these now before summer runs out!!
Easy Toasted Coconut Key Lime Pie Bars
Makes 24 bars
Prep Time for Crust: 10 minutes; Bake Time for Crust: 15-20 minutes; Prep Time for Filling: 5 minutes; Bake Time for Filling: 20 minutes
For the Crust
- 1 cup (2 2/3 ounces) shredded sweetened coconut
- 3 cups (18 ounces) graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 6 large egg yolks
- Three 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest (about 1 regular lime or 3-4 key limes)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice (from about 15-20 regular limes, more if you're using key limes)
- 2-3 extra limes for garnish (optional)
1. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF and spread the coconut out on a jelly roll pan (15 1/2 x10 1/2 inches or a 18 x 12 inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake the coconut for 5-8 minutes, until it's toasted and golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Add the graham cracker crumbs right to the pan as well as the sugar and toss them together to combine well with the coconut. Add the melted butter and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan evenly. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until firm and golden brown.
2. While the crust is baking, make the filling. Place the yolks, condensed milk, and zest in a large bowl and whisk together until well combined. Then whisk in the lime juice until smooth.
3. When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and slowly pour the filling right onto the hot crust. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling is just set. Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack. When cool, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until the filling is chilled and set. Cut into squares and decorate with a piece of lime if you like.
4. The bars can be made up to 2 days ahead and left uncut and covered in the refrigerator for up two days before serving.
Note: Recipe adapted from One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti.