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Key Lime Poppy Seed Bars
Refreshing key lime is a popular ingredient for spring and summer recipes. Just last week, I enjoyed the most delicious Key Lime Poppy Seed Bars! Turns out they are easy to make, as well. And, because they don't require actual limes (key lime juice instead), you can stir these up anytime of year.
True aficionados will purchase key limes (or their close counterparts - see capsule below) and squeeze the juice themselves for the recipe. Some people say that purchased key lime juice just is not sufficient for baking.
What are Key Limes?
Small, juicy limes, about the size of a walnut, true Key Limes are grown in the Florida Keys. Most "Key Limes" that you will buy in your supermarket, however, are probably Persian Limes, or Mexican Limes because commercial production of Key Limes was largely wiped out due to a 1926 hurricane in Florida.
Key Limes and Persian Limes have a higher sugar content than lemons. Their peak season is June-August, although Mexican Limes can be found year round.
After purchase, they can be kept for about 2 weeks. Look for a leathery, light yellow rind.
- Unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 T. poppy seeds
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cut up)
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup key lime juice
- 1/8 t. salt
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- 2 T. whipping cream or half-and-half
- powdered sugar to dust on top
- Grease a 9-inch baking pan with butter and set aside
- Combine flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, brown sugar and poppy seeds and salt in a food processor.
- Add the 1/2 cup butter and pulse until coarse crumbs result
- Press mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan and bake at 350 F degree preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.
- While baking, whisk together egg yolks, eggs and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Whisk in lime juice and salt.
- Add in 4 T. butter
- Continuously stir over medium heat until cooking thermometer reaches 165 degrees F.
- Immediately remove from heat and whisk in whipping cream or half-and-half.
- Pour mixture over baked crust.
- Return to oven for 12-15 minutes until set.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Garnish with slices of sugared lime, if desired.
Other Delicious Ways to Enjoy Key Lime
Key lime is a popular ingredient in marinades, or even just squeezed right onto grilled or baked chicken or fish. Its acidity can be a compliment to other flavors in savory recipes. Of course, many people are familiar with key lime drinks. Blended with rum, tequila or vodka, key lime can provide a provocative kick to a cocktail! Key lime may be best known, however, in tarts, sorbets, and - of course - Key Lime Pie!
Martha Stewart Makes Key Lime Tart
Head to your local grocery store right now when Key Limes are in season. Pick up a few and stir up some Key Lime Poppy Seed Bars! Or just enjoy the rare treat that is this small citrus fruit. Pucker up!