Friday, May 9, 2008

Recipe: Key Lime Custard Squares

I love to cook for my family and friends! Initially I was inspired by my grandmother's artistry with a variety of ingredients and my mother's love of experimentation when she baked. As the oldest child of seven children, I did quite a bit of cooking for the family. Encouraged by my success (if my teenage brothers didn't eat it, the dogs would), I was continually trying new recipes. Now, I'm married to a lovely man who eats most anything I make, and encourages me to cook every day (Hmm... what's up with the everyday thing?). He loves food and has an adventurous palette. (And he often does the dishes!) With his encouragement I'm continually trying new things.

Key Lime Squares
Cristina Acosta ©2007, 2008

Put one bite of this sweet/tart desert in your mouth and you'll be able to see the long, flat horizon of blue-green ocean layered under the green topped islands of the Florida Keys. Not really. But it is a nice fantasy. Nonetheless, these easy-to-make squares will give you plenty of time to make plans for your next tropical vacation. The shortcake cookie base enriched with nuts supports the creamy tart key lime custard filling. Dress these up with a lime twist and a pretty plate for a dinner party or take them as is to a picnic and eat them with your fingers. Aloha! And recorridos felices! (Happy Travels)

Note: Click here to purchase this painting , The Pastry Chef, from the High Desert Gallery in Sisters, Oregon

Tools: Blender / Vitamix or Food Processor or by hand, oven

Baking Pan: 8” x 8” x 2”
Yield: 6 to 16 pieces, depending on size cut.

Time: Baking time, 30 minutes. Assembly time 15-20 minutes

Base and Topping

  • 1/3 Cup real butter, chilled
  • ½ finely chopped nuts or ground nut meal. (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds)
  • 1/3 C. dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Cup white flour


  • ½ cup 100% unsweetened key lime juice, OR organic 100% lime juice, not from concentrate.
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter sides and bottom of pan

1. Combine all dry ingredients

  1. With a blender, food processor or by hand, cut the butter into the dry mixture until the butter is in very small pieces and the mixture has a crumb like appearance.
  2. Reserve ½ cup of the mixture for topping.
  3. Firmly press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

2. While the base is cooking, mix custard filling:

  1. Mix the filling ingredients into a blender on low until the mixture is silky and well blended. (Don’t let the mixture get foamy.)
  2. Pour it onto the cooked base.
  3. Sprinkle the topping evenly across the filling.
  4. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve the Key Lime Custard Squares at room temperature or chilled. Cut into servings after it has cooled. Refrigerate for ease of cutting into small squares or to transport (makes the dessert firmer).

vitamix_aff_5200_sm.jpgI Love Using My Vitamix!

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I use my Vitamix several times a day to make whole food juice, soups from scratch, sauces. smoothies and more. If you're a foodie, you'll love how the Vitamix emulsifies sauces and gravies, grinds grains, purees vegetables & fruits and even mixes a mean margarita or frappuccino!
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