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Lime Squares with Pistachio Graham-Cracker Crust

This creamy dessert is a cross between Key lime pie and traditional lemon bars. For a lighter version, substitute fat-free sweetened condensed milk.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • yield: Makes 16

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Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) graham-cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons grated lime zest

For the Filling

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Cook's Note

Lining the pan: Cut parchment 8 inches wide and at least 12 inches long. Place parchment in buttered pan (butter will hold paper in place) so it hangs over the sides. This will help you lift the bars out easily.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.

  2. Step 2

    In a food processor, finely grind pistachios with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest. Blend in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk. Add lime juice; whisk until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.

  4. Step 4

    Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving. Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Special Issues, 2006

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Reviews (50)

  • Ceege 15 Mar, 2013

    Would like to take this to a pot luck. Is it possible to double the recipe and bake in 11 x 9 pan? Thanks for any thoughts on this.

  • EATKINS 4 May, 2012

    The only thing I would change is to reduce the amount of lime juice. I used fresh lime juice &measured it exactly. Everyone to whom I served it said it was too tart. So I would lighten it up. I cut smaller pieces,served them on lace doilies and sprinkled them with crumbs reserved from the crust. Nice presentation.

  • tony1mandy2 6 Feb, 2012

    Sorry, I was WRONG! I think i may have a reading disability!!! arghhh! Recipe DOES say half a stick!!! geez...i still did it with a full stick & the crust was great!!!!
    Thanks & sorry again for my last post!!!!

  • tony1mandy2 6 Feb, 2012

    Loved it! Added a few more pistachios & a little more butter...turned out wonderful!
    **However, there is a small mistake in the INGREDIENTS.. it calls for 4 T. then says 1 cube butter....i see that one reviewer may have just put the 4 T. ~ if i hadn't read her review & looked @the amount of butter i might have only put in 4T as well instead of a cube...that's the only thing i can say negative about this treat!!! thanks!

  • Preciousteph 30 Sep, 2011

    So disappointing. After all the work of shelling pistachios, you can't taste them at all. The lime overpowers them. The crust seems to need more butter to hold it together; I made it as directed and it only baked on top. The bottom of the crust was still totally crumbly. I wonder if they tested this recipe or just cranked it out like they seem to do often....

  • kaylarae 7 Jul, 2011

    These were pretty good. I felt it needed a little whipped cream on top just to finish it off. It took a long time to shell all those pistachios and I'm not sure they added that much to the crust .... I think I would try a different nut next time. Nice tart though!

  • frhrwa 4 Feb, 2011

    Katello.. email them the recipe.. if you make them you will eat them, and its easier to send the recipe.. ha.. that's what I do..

  • katello 2 Feb, 2011

    I'm thinking of making these, but I would like to mail them to a friend. They seem like they might not travel well. Does anyone have ideas as to how I could wrap them so they won't be a mess by the time they arrive?

  • Culinspiration 30 Mar, 2010

    These. Are. Excellent.

    I swapped graham crackers for butter cookies, added a raspberry sauce layer, and baked in a tart pan. Gorgeous and delicious! http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/key-lime-raspberry-torte-...

  • lgaribaldi 28 Feb, 2010

    OMG - I've made these several times I can eat the whole thing by myself! It's sooo easy, but sooo delicious!

  • kisthecook1 12 Sep, 2009

    I made these with lemons insted of limes nad it tasted like a "lemon meragne pie " bar cookie.

  • Yrma 20 Jan, 2009

    baked this and they turned out graet just perfect

  • meganrachel 6 Oct, 2008

    Made this for my friend's baby shower. I accidentally added two whole eggs instead of the yolks, and they turned out fine. They were a huge hit and now they'll become a regular dessert in our house.

  • ClaireJandt 17 Aug, 2008

    Just select print and then you will not have any ads. Good luck.

  • biker 14 Aug, 2008

    Please have an option for printing JUST the recipe instead of ads for ink cartridges!

  • michelebogren 14 Aug, 2008

    These are a perfect summer dessert ! I even used low-fat graham crackers and fat free condensed milk and they were still so delicious ! They turn out just like the picture.

  • joannamartens 13 Aug, 2008

    I made these bars for a family party and they were a huge hit! Be sure to use fresh squeezed limes for the best flavor

  • karenlmartin 12 Aug, 2008

    The 8 ounce cup is wet weight - like a cup of milk. A cup of crumbs weighs less than a cup of milk. Home Ec 101.

  • czyha 12 Aug, 2008

    I think they mean 1 cup in volume or 4oz by weight.

  • pookeybear 12 Aug, 2008

    the 4 oz = 1 cup of graham crakers crumbs refers to the weight of the crumbs.
    pokeybear

  • gloria_moak 12 Aug, 2008

    One cup equals 8oz. Why does the recipe say one cup 4oz? I find this confusing.

  • gloria_moak 12 Aug, 2008

    One cup equals 8oz. Why does the recipe say one cup 4oz? I find this confusing.

  • gloria_moak 12 Aug, 2008

    One cup is 8oz. Why do you say 4oz? I find this confusing

  • karabeth626 12 Aug, 2008

    Tried these a couple months ago...if you love lime you will love these!

  • pvarsenec 12 Aug, 2008

    Sol, did yo use 14 ounces of cream cheese instead of condensed milk or in addition to? Thanks.

  • arippo 12 Aug, 2008

    sol, did you add the cream cheese in place of the condensed milk, or in addition to it?

  • Champagne 12 Aug, 2008

    Why is the nutrtional information on each of the recipes such a huge SECRET?? Ssshhhh...

  • sol 5 Jun, 2008

    I added 14 ounces of cream cheese to the filling and it was amazing.

  • kimkim 23 Apr, 2008

    I used 4 and I think with less than that the crust would be too crumbly and not stick in the pan and up the sides like it should. I guess you could try 2 and if it's too dry, add 2 more.

  • Ventura_93004 22 Apr, 2008

    Quick question for anyone who has made these...
    On the show he says that only 2 tablespoons of butter is used while the recipe above shows 4. Which is it?

  • Ventura_93004 22 Apr, 2008

    Quick question for anyone who has made these...
    On the show he says that only 2 tablespoons of butter is used while the recipe above shows 4. Which is it?

  • kimkim 20 Apr, 2008

    These were super easy and really tasty! Nice balance of sweet and tart.

  • kimkim 20 Apr, 2008

    These were super easy and really tasty! Nice balance of sweet and tart.

  • NatLizAn 9 Apr, 2008

    Yay recipe! Thanks for fixng whoever fixed it =)

  • loki5 9 Apr, 2008

    The link to PBS didn't work for me. Apparently that episode has not been shown where I live.

  • LauraMurray 9 Apr, 2008

    several have not shown recipe for me. I also am not getting my cookie emailed to me.

  • QueenVictoria 9 Apr, 2008

    I also did not get the recipe.............. :(((

  • vivitony 9 Apr, 2008

    Am Sorry cannot get your recipe of April 9th Lime and Pistaschio squares can you please check why the recipe is not there

  • mssugarplum 9 Apr, 2008

    Thanks!! That actually worked for me! You made my day!

  • mssugarplum 9 Apr, 2008

    Why can't I get this recipe to appear? I have no problem with others!

  • ackgourmet 9 Apr, 2008

    if you want the recipe follow this link
    http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/baking/recipes/lime_squares.html

  • pkubala60 9 Apr, 2008

    I have a lime tree in my yard loaded and ready to go with limes, but no recipe!! help!! This looks great!

  • MommaDuck1 9 Apr, 2008

    When I try to print this out the screen comes up blank. Having the same problem with Saturday's cupcake recipe. If you could fix this it would be great.
    Thanks

  • weatkins 9 Apr, 2008

    I'm glad someone else couldn't see the recipe either!

  • RondaK 9 Apr, 2008

    There is no recipe here.... Sounds good though.

  • jgb904 9 Apr, 2008

    Where is the recpe? Would love to make these for an anniversary party.
    thank you- jgb904@comcast.net

  • claygirl 1 Apr, 2008

    These sound fabulous. I'l try them this weekend

  • claygirl 1 Apr, 2008

    These sound fabulous. I'l try them this weekend

  • BettinaG 30 Mar, 2008

    These are tart and rich and fantastic as a citrus creamy dessert. Such a fun and different choice for dessert. I love chocalate and any kind of cake but it's good to branch out and try new things.

  • claudiapas 17 Mar, 2008

    Maybe it has to be baked more than 15 minutes. Maybe 25 is safer. But it surely delicious....