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Fresh key limes: recipe ideas? (not including pies)

Looks like we're going to have a bumper crop of key limes this year--we've already filled a basket from under the tree in our back yard. Now. . .what to do with these wonderful key limes? A search of the boards turns up several recipes for key lime pie (my favorite dessert of all time), so I'm covered there. I'm looking instead for other ways to use fresh key limes. Please share your ideas and recipes!

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  1. Key Lime Bars, summarized from Cooks Illustrated

    5 ounces animal crackers
    3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark)
    Pinch table salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled


    2 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
    1 tablespoon grated lime zest , minced
    Pinch table salt
    1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    1 egg yolk
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice , either Key lime or regular

    Garnish (optional)

    3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut , toasted until
    golden and crisp

    350° oven
    Line 8x8 inch baking pan with foil and spray w/ non-stick.
    Pulse animal crackers in a food processor add sugar and salt and pulse. Add butter and pulse until combined. Press crumbs firmly into bottom of baking pan. Bake until golden, 18-20 minutes, then cool. Stir together cream cheese, lime zest, and salt in a bowl. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk until incorporated and lumps are gone. Whisk in egg yolk then the lime juice.
    Poor into crust and bake 15-20 minutes or until set and edges start to pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool 1-1 ½ hours then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with toasted coconut.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bananie

      Could you do a graham cracker crust instead of an animal cracker one?

    2. Chicken marinade: key lime juice, tomato water, and your favorite pepper blend.
      Drink: 2 parts key lime juice, 2 parts dark rum, 1 part agave nectar, crushed mint, top with crushed ice.

      1. Below is the recipe I use for key lime bundt cake - it's delicious:


        1. Lime juice and soy sauce together make a marvelous marinade for chicken...Epicurious has a delightful Southwestern Lime Chicken with Ancho Chili Sauce recipe that you might try; the chicken comes out so flavorful!

          1. Key Lime ice cream... put it in a graham crackr crust with a layer of dark chocolate for an amazing ice cream pie.

            1. BBQ Sauce (I've adapted the original - see my notes at the bottom):

              * Exported from MasterCook *

              Key Lime Barbecue Sauce

              Recipe By :"The Key Lime Cookbook", Joyce LaFray Young
              Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00
              Categories : Key Lime

              Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
              -------- ------------ --------------------------------
              2 key limes -- up to 3
              1 Tbsp butter
              1 small onion -- finely chopped
              2 small cloves garlic -- minced
              1 1/2 cups ketchup
              3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
              6 Tbsp honey
              3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
              1 Tbsp prepared mustard

              (See alterations below)
              Grate rind from limes, then cut the limes in half and squeeze juice into a small bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and saute onion until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add lime rind and garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the rest of ingredients; bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly.

              Marinate chicken or pork chops in appropriate amount of sauce for one hour in this sauce before grilling. Baste with extra sauce as needed. Makes about 2 cups.

              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

              NOTES : Originally from Cross Creek Kitchens, c. 1983 by Sally Morrison.

              7/00: Excellent flavor! My alterations - I used the following measurements for certain ingredients:
              3 key limes - gives a lot more "tang" to the sauce
              1 cup ketchup
              2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
              5 Tbsp. honey
              1-1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

              7/02: Halved the recipe for 2 pieces of chicken; would be enough for 3 pieces.

              1. Nothin' better in a margarita than fresh key lime juice -- now you've got me all thirsty!

                2 Replies
                1. re: dinner belle

                  Lime curd. If you process the jars, it would keep, and you could give as holiday gifts. It makes a great quick dessert using the mini frozen phyllo cups with maybe a tiny dollop of whipped cream on top. Delicious as a topping for scones and other breakfast breads, and on the side with fresh fruit.

                  1. re: nemo

                    I second this. Made for dessert with lime cornmeal cookies - a Gourmet recipe, and Ciao Bella vanilla gelato. Nice and light and citrusy!

                2. These are all great ideas! Thanks so much. As we're also trying to watch our weight, I'd particularly like your thoughts on the use of key limes in lighter items, such as salads, veggies, marinades and light sauces. The key lime-soy marinade idea and the BBQ sauce sound great, BTW--I will try it and report back. I'm also going to see if I can find the Key Lime Cookbook mentioned.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: laurie

                    Laurie - that key lime cookbook was a thin paperback bound one I found at an antique show. I *was* going to say you probably won't find it - but addall.com found it! Not sure I'd want to pay $10.75 for it from Half.com. (I think I paid $2.00 at the antique show. <g>)


                    If you want, Email me at LWhitt58 AT aol DOT com, and I can send you the recipes I've imported into MasterCook. It's not all 69 recipes ( don't think) but I do have a lot of them that could easily be sent to you.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Linda, thank you! I actually found it on Amazon. We should be getting it any day--looking forward to it. Thanks for the rec!

                      1. re: laurie

                        Glad you got it, Laurie - enjoy!

                    2. re: laurie

                      Vinaigrette. Ceviche. Cuban mojo.

                      1. re: tartiflette

                        Ohhh, that looks good! Gotta try it. . . .