Summer is finally in full swing here in Montana and these long, hot days have me craving tart, refreshing desserts. And these Mango Key Lime Pie Bars are my essential summer dessert. Like if I don’t make them at least three times a summer, something is seriously wrong.
There are a few things that make these my go-to option: 1. I grew up in Miami and am therefore required to love all things Key Lime 2. They take barely any time to make and 3. They freeze beautifully and are absolute perfection eaten straight out of the freezer on a hot, sunny day…..which is what I tend to do during the hottest parts of the year. Because let me tell you, there is NOTHING better than hanging out on the patio, eating a refreshingly cold Mango Key Lime Pie Bar and letting the heat from the sunshine beat down on you. Throw in a hazy IPA to drink and you’ve pretty much found my happy place.
These bars are an adaption of my Pop’s Key Lime Pie recipe that I’ve posted on here before (go back, way back on the blog to find that recipe….and don’t mind the old, not so great pics). While pie is nice and all, I tend to prefer these in bar shape. They’re easier to eat (aka no one judges you when you eat it with your hands and no plate) and they feel less stuffy…..which is a plus for summer desserts. If you can’t find mangoes or if you don’t like them (and if you don’t, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!), you can easily make these straight up Key Lime Pie Bars. Just omit the mango puree and up the key lime juice to 2/3 cup.
So what are you waiting for? Make a batch of these, stash them in your freezer, break one out on the next 90° day and let me know how much you love them!
Mango Key Lime Pie Bars
Makes 9 large squares
For the Coconut Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, lightly toasted
For the filling:
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
½ cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (if you can find key limes – you easily substitute any other kind of lime)
½ cup mango puree (about half a large mango pureed in the blender)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 square pan with a foil sling and lightly grease the foil with butter.
To make the crust, place the graham crackers crumbs, coconut, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 5 times. You want to break up the flaked coconut a bit, but not completely grind it up….if that makes sense. Then add in the melted butter and process until evenly distributed and the mixture resembles damp sand. Pour the graham cracker mixture into your prepared 8 x 8 inch pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is set and golden.
To make the filling, place the egg yolks and lime zest in a large bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and zest on high-speed until thick and shiny (about 3 to 4 minutes). With the mixer still running, slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until the mixture is very thick (about 3 minutes or so). Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the lime juice and mango puree and beat until just combined.
Pour the filling into the hot crust and bake for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, place the pan in the fridge and let chill for at least one hour before serving. When your bars are all nice and cold, cut into slices and serve with a big dollop of unsweetened whipped cream!
*If you want to freeze them and eat them frozen (which I highly recommend) – chill them for an hour in the fridge first. Then cut them into squares, put them on a baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in your freezer. Once frozen, tightly wrap the bars in plastic wrap and then wrap them in foil as well.