August 21, 2014

Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

Hi, Friends!!! Did you miss me? Hope you did!  I had some sort of writer's block. But now I am back and ready to make you hungry!)) 

Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios
Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios
Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios
Anyway, last week I ran out of ideas what to cook. Stop...No. No. That is not true. Actually, I had so many ideas that I couldn't decide which of them are worth trying (I think sooner or later it becomes the problem of every Pinner ;)

But fortunately at my favorite store I came across a really good price on limes...and the problem was solved of itself. Plus lime tart was on my list for very looonngg time! Since I've made a tart with lemon curd a few years ago for the first time...and it turned out great. The only pie that has ever impressed me. I loved the consistency of the curd, refreshing  with some bitter notes flavor, crispy crust. It was definitely my personal win. 

So the first thing that came to my mind when I bought one kilo of limes was to make the same best ever tart but with lime curd. It couldn't be a failure. But after a little research on lime tart and it is history I found out that the classic variant  is made with custard, not with curd. 
Also the classic lime tart is traditionally decorated with meringue, of which my mom isn't the biggest fan. Then I thought of the the whipped cream....but it also wasn't something I wanted. And pistachios are exactly the thing. Only look at the photos, they perfectly match the color of the lime filling. Oh, and believe me, the taste is incomparable!
Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios
Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

I am writing this blogpost feeling wholly satisfied about the upgraded lime bars. They taste and look exactly how I wanted them to. 
Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

For the Pistachio and Graham Cracker Crust:
100 g  graham crackers
50 g shelled pistachios
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp  lime zest
70 g butter, melted and cooled

For the Key Lime Filling:
400 g (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (120 ml ) lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest

For Candied Pistachios:
70 g shelled pistachios
½ tbsp melted butter
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract

To serve
Zest of 1 lime
Candied Pistachios

20 x 20 cm ( 8 x 8 inch) pan or 23 cm (9 inch) tart pan
Parchment paper

Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

For the Pistachio and Graham Cracker Crust:
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Line the pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine 100g graham crackers and 50g shelled pistachios until forms a fine crumb. Add in 3 tbsp granulated sugar and 1tbsp lime zest, process until well combined. Pour in 70 g melted butter and  toss the crumbs with a rubber spatula until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Press the crust into the bottom and the sides of the prepared. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until  lightly browned. Let cool for at least 30 minutes while preparing the filling.

For the Key Lime Filling:
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
In a bowl of the electric mixer beat 3 large egg yolks until pale and fluffy (~2-3 minutes), gradually add 400 g sweetened condensed milk and beat for 3 more minutes. Beat in 1/2 cup key lime juice and 1 tbsp lime zest and whisk until smooth. Pour filling over the cooled crust and bake in the preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, or until the filling is set.*
Let cool completely on a wire wreck and then chill for several hours or overnight before serving.

For the Candied Pistachios
Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
In a bowl combine all the ingredients except pistachios. Add in the pistachios and stir to coat them evenly in the butter mixture. Pour evenly pistachios onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool on the baking sheet.
Once cooled, chop the nuts coarsely (a few pulses in food processor )
To serve
Cut the bars in the equal squares, sprinkle with freshly grated lime zest and candied pistachios.


* In all the recipes I saw the baking time was stated 10-15 minutes. However, frankly speaking, it was not enough for my pie. It has to be firm in the outside, but has a shaky center, because the bars will continue to set outside the oven. Mine filling was shaky all over. So I had to increase the baking time up to 25 minutes. So be careful and begin checking your pie after 15 minutes in the oven.
Lime Bars with Candied Pistachios

Xo xo!

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