Lime Pecan Bars
Spring is in the air! And with Memorial Day just a week away, summer is just around the corner. We had a truly perfect weekend here in Boston, with crystal blue skies and temperatures in the mid-seventies. If I had to pick the weather for all the weekends for the rest of my life, this would be it. It was the perfect weekend for a barbecue, so I couldn’t have been more excited to go to a friend’s house to see their new Big Green Egg in action.
I had never heard of the Big Green Egg, but it’s apparently quite the craze in the BBQ world. It’s a big, green, egg-shaped ceramic charcoal grill and from what I’ve seen so far, everything that goes into it comes out impeccably. We had chicken, ribs, sausages, salmon, veggies, and pineapple all cooked to perfection. It was an afternoon of feasting and the food was as spectacular as the weather.
Have I mentioned how much I love barbecue? Because I truly do. It all begins with my love of barbecue sauce and ribs that fall right off the bone. And you know what goes perfectly with a nice summer barbecue? A cool refreshing lime pecan bar. The crunch of the pecan crust, the gooey topping bursting with fresh lime – this is the stuff of summer refreshment. My mouth waters just thinking about them.
These bars are easier to make than some lemon or lime bars; the custard topping is made using whole eggs so you don’t need to bother separating eggs and you’re not left wondering what to do with your leftover egg whites. As someone who hates separating eggs – it was my very least favorite task back when I worked at Cake Love – this is a definite bonus. No, the hardest thing about this recipe is just squeezing all that lime juice, which I don’t mind at all. The sweet reward are these little bites of exhilarating lime with their perfectly contrasting rich, buttery, nutty base.
Lime Pecan Bars
From Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts
Moosewood suggests cutting these into 16 squares, but if I'm making this for a barbecue, I like to cut it into 25 bite-sized squares. That way it can serves more and with the smaller size, people can feel free to try more things. More than likely, they'll be back for seconds. Or thirds.... Just make sure to save enough pecan halves to top place one on each square.
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
For the filling:
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 16-25 pecan halves, toasted (see note)
- Preheat oven to 325F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.
- In a food processor (or by hand), finely chop the pecans. Add the melted butter, flour and brown sugar and process until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the lime juice and zest and the flour and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the filling over the still hot crust. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool in the pan for 1 hour before cutting into squares. Top each square with a pecan half and press down lightly.