You will find yourself thinking it looks delicious. You will realize you have all the ingredients already. And then, if you are anything like me, you will reach a road block. Surely something this decadent and delicious-looking is too difficult to make. It must be time-consuming. Who has the energy to make pie crust and crumble and bright, lime-infused filling? I don’t know why, but somehow in the process of drooling over Joy the Baker’s Pie Bar Recipe, I convinced myself that there had to be something about it that was inaccessible. Let’s face it, some of the best treats just are.
I think, though, that that, right there, is what makes this recipe even more endearing. Once I finally jumped on board, I found myself staring incredulously at all the wonderful components I had made. And with ease! Shortbread-like pie crust studded with teeny, neon bits of lime zest! A sweet, oat-filled, crumbly topping! Brilliant lime-flavored filling! All with the use of one bowl and about 15 minutes of my time (excluding baking time, of course). Friends, this is unheard of.
Granted, I changed it around a little bit. Whereas Joy had cherries and lemons on hand when she set about turning dreams into bars, I had strawberries and limes. Also, being the goon that I am for fruit, I added extra strawberries. And while I’m almost positive Joy probably shared these, I find myself taking two at a time on my plate, eyeing the one I will chow down on next time and hoping that no one takes it.
One Year: Brown Butter Coconut Bread
Strawberry Lime Pie Bars
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 9 squares
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed, drained, and cut into thirds
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper (so that it over hangs slightly from the pan) and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
CRUST: In a medium bowl combine butter, powdered sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest. Use your fingers (which could get messy) or a wooden spoon to work the mixture into a shaggy dough. Big bits of butter will remain and the flour won’t be entirely incorporated. Separate 1/2 cup of the shaggy dough and place it in a small bowl and add the oats. Work the oats into the mixture to create a crumble. Set aside. With the remaining dough, continue to stir with the spoon until it forms a homogenous ball of soft dough. Place the dough in large chunks in the prepared pan. Add a bit of flour to your fingers and press the dough across the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake the dough for 12 to 15 minutes until browned around the edges. While the crust bakes, assemble the filling.
FILLING: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice, yogurt, and salt. Whisk until smooth and well incorporated. Carefully place drained strawberries across the baked crust. With strawberries evenly distributed across the baked crust, slowly pour the lemon filling over the top. Sprinkle the oat topping over the filling. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set through. Give the pan a light shake and if the mixture is still very wavy in the center allow it to make for a few minutes long. A little jiggle is ok. Cool to room temperature and chill for an hour before slicing. For best results, serve chilled. Store the bars well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.