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Recipe of the Week: Key Lime Squares


PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

One of my favorite desserts are these delicious key lime squares. I love the combination of butter and lemon flavor blended together in a small scrumptious package. They are easy to make and they keep well for several days. (Chef tip: You can use fresh key limes or bottled key lime juice; make sure to add lime zest for extra flavor.)

For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups pastry flour

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lime zest (4 to 6 limes)

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.