Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust is a classic dessert that originated in the United States, specifically in Florida. It’s believed that Key West sponge fishermen first created this pie in the late 1800s. They used Key limes, which are smaller and have a more intense flavor compared to regular limes, and combined it with condensed milk to create a simple and easy-to-make dessert that could withstand the tropical heat.
Over time, this dessert evolved into various versions, including the Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust. Graham cracker crusts became popular in the 1920s, and since then, have become a staple in many dessert recipes. The crust is made with graham cracker crumbs that are mixed with melted butter until well coated, and pressed firmly into the baking pan.
The filling of this dessert is made up of a mix of sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, flour, eggs, and lime zest. The combination of the sweet and tangy flavors creates a flavorful and creamy filling that perfectly complements the crunchy graham cracker crust.
This dessert is easy to make, requires only a few ingredients, and can be enjoyed with whipped cream and lime wedges for an extra burst of flavor. Whether it’s for a simple family gathering or a special occasion, Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust is a dessert that everyone can enjoy.
Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
Keep a close eye on the bars while they are baking. Overbaking can cause the bars to be dry and crumble easily. To ensure the center is set, check on the bars after 20 minutes of baking. If it still seems jiggly, give it an additional 5 minutes.
The crust should be slightly firm and browned around the edges. To achieve this, press the graham cracker mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
Zest is Best
Make sure to use fresh lime zest for the recipe, as it adds a refreshing citrusy flavor to the bars. Use a microplane or the small grater side of a cheese grater to zest the lime. Be sure to only scrape off the green outer layer of the fruit for the best flavor.
Use Key Lime Juice
The distinctive taste of the bars comes from the key lime juice. You can use regular lime juice if key limes are not available, but the flavor will be slightly different.
For a beautiful presentation, serve the bars with whipped cream on top, and a lime wedge on the side. If you want to get creative, sprinkle a little bit of graham cracker crumbs on top too.
Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to let them cool to room temperature before storing them.
How Many Calories are in Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust?
9 Servings per Recipe
- Total Fat: 21g
- Saturated Fat: 12g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 95mg
- Sodium: 270mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 49g
- Dietary Fiber: 0g
- Total Sugars: 39g
- Added Sugars: 39g
- Protein: 7g
What Drinks Pair Best with Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust?
Wine pairing: A suitable wine pairing for Graham Cracker Key Lime Pie Bars would be Moscato d’Asti. Its sweetness and acidity would complement the tartness of the key lime and the creaminess of the whipped cream.
Beer pairing: A suitable beer pairing for Graham Cracker Key Lime Pie Bars would be a Belgian Witbier, such as Hoegaarden or Blue Moon. The light and refreshing citrus notes of the beer will complement the zesty lime flavor in the dessert, while the crisp carbonation will help to cleanse the palate between each sweet and tangy bite.
Cocktail pairing: A suitable cocktail pairing for Graham Cracker Key Lime Pie Bars would be a Key Lime Martini. Combine 2 ounces vanilla vodka, 1 1/2 ounces key lime juice, and 1 ounce milk in a shaker with ice. Shake until well combined and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime and enjoy!
How to Make Key Lime Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
Ingredients for Graham Cracker Key Lime Pie Bars
- 2 cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1/2 cup of Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/2 cup of Key Lime Juice
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp of Lime Zest
Whipped Cream and Lime Wedges for toppings (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a square baking pan (8×8 inches) and line with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted unsalted butter.
- Mix until the crumbs are well coated with butter.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
- Press the mixture down firmly and evenly to create a crust layer on the bottom.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, large eggs, all-purpose flour, and lime zest until the mixture is well combined.
- Pour the mixture over the crust layer in the baking pan.
- Spread the mixture out and ensure it is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven until the center is set.
- Once baked, let the bars cool down to room temperature.
- Cut the bars into equal portions as desired and serve with whipped cream and lime wedges if desired.