When I get a sweet tooth …

If I don’t go for dark chocolate something or another, I like something tart. Lime bars have a sweet zing that is refreshing on a hot summer day. The shortbread layer is smooth and buttery and the lime topping provides a nice balance.

Tips: Do not substitute margarine for butter. It doesn’t hold the shortbread together very well and it gives an “off” taste.  Juice from concentrate can be substituted for fresh squeezed. You can substitute lemon or other citrus juices for the lime.

Zesty Lime Bars

Shortbread layer

1 cup pastry flour is best, but all-purpose is OK, too

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

Sift together flour and sugar, stir in butter. Press into bottom of 8×8 baking dish (or 9×9 dish if you prefer thinner crust). You don’t need to grease or flour the pan as the butter will keep the shortbread from sticking. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes, until  golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack while preparing lime mixture.

Lime topping

2 eggs, beaten until smooth

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (strained to remove pulp and seeds)

1 tablespoon lime zest

Add sugar and corn starch to beaten eggs, stirring until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. Do not whisk as this will change the texture of the topping. Stir in lime juice and zest.

Pour over cooled shortbread. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lime topping is set. Let cool completely. Cut into squares or bars. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Makes a dozen bars.

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