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A close-up of the lime zest

Key Lime Pie Bars with Cornmeal Crust

  • Author: Marie Bostwick



Cornmeal Crust: 

  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1’’ cubes, chilled
  • 1/2 c fine cornmeal
  • 1/3 c toasted, ground pecans
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Key Lime Filling

  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 c crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp lime zest, plus more for garnish
  • 2/3 c key lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c whipped cream for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 dish with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the cornmeal, ground pecans, flour, corn starch, sugar, and salt. Once combined, pulse in the chilled butter until the dough resembles wet sand—it will be fine in texture, but still crumbly and loose. Transfer the dough into a small bowl and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, don’t compact the dough.
  3. When the dough is chilled, press it into the prepared pan so that it comes up to the sides of the pan about 1’’ high and is about 1/2’’ thick. Use your knuckles to press the dough flat. Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  4. While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl using a wooden spoon or a hand mixer, combine the crème fraîche, egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, vanilla, and key lime juice until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust then return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the center is set—don’t over bake.
  5. Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature in the pan. Once cooled, transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours before serving with whipped cream and lime zest.