During citrus season, I will fill my kitchen up with a wide variety of orange, lemon and lime baked goods, from muffins to pies. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite citrus because I like them all, but lately I have been doing even more baking with limes than usual. Limes find their way into Key Lime Pies more often than they do into any other baked good. Key lime pies are delicious and easy to make, especially since you can use regular limes instead of key limes in almost all recipes. But limes are just as delicious in other baked goods and these amazing Sour Cream Lime Bars are sure to prove that point.
These bars are similar to lemon bars, but they use lots of fresh lime juice instead of lemon. I also added sour cream to the filling, along with sugar to sweeten things up and eggs to bind everything together. The tangy sour cream compliments the lime, while adding a creaminess that cuts the citrus fruit’s tartness and gives the filling a nice balance. While many bars add thickeners, this recipe relies only on eggs to thicken it. The result is a filling that is silky smooth and reminiscent of citrus curd, but thick enough to hold its shape and slice easily with a sharp knife.
The filling is baked on top of a buttery shortbread crust that has lime zest added to it. The crust is baked until golden and the filling mixture is poured on top while the base is still hot. This jump starts the cooking process for the filling, allowing you to make this recipe from start to finish in very little time. Once the bars are baked, they should be cooled and chilled for several hours before slicing. The filling will continue to thicken up as it cools, even though it is “set” when it comes out of the oven. The bars are best when stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.
Top them with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or cut larger slices and add a dollop of whipped cream when serving. If you like any lime desserts, you’ll love these.
Sour Cream Lime Bars
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lime zest (from 1 lime)
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (pref. full fat)
1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
Preheat oven to 350F. Get out a 9×13-inch baking pan and set it aside.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lime zest. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Rub the butter in with your fingertips until no large pieces remain and the mixture resembles fine sand. This can also be done in the food processor by pulsing all the ingredients together until well-combined.
Pour crumb mixture into pan and press down firmly (with your fingers or the bottom of a glass) into an even layer.
Bake for 19-23 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.
While crust is baking, make filling. Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Ingredients can also be blended in a food processor.
When the crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
Bake for about 14-16 minutes, or until filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight, before slicing.
Top slices with confectioners’ sugar to serve.
Makes about 24 bars.