Here is a disclaimer so that you will know before you sink your teeth into reading this blog that it does not contain a list of bars to visit on your next trip. Actually, we were vacationing in Monteagle and I love cooking in a vacation home, so I made dessert bars – the kind you pick up and eat!
It all started with a tradition. My family expects a frozen key lime pie on any trip where a kitchen is accessible and can devour a whole pie almost instantaneously. That is not a friendly concept when you are sharing a home with friends and neighbors are dropping by. The next part of the recipe was inspired by a venture to the liquor store. We ran by for a couple of bottles of wine that might not be available from the local Piggly Wiggly and were fascinated by the variety of teeny tiny bottles of spirits. The Grand Marnier bottle was particularly attractive and so we got it and there you go; frozen key lime pie got an upgrade to dessert bars with a tiple of tequila and a drop of Grand Marnier. The salty crust gave it that “cocktail vibe” – the idea of slicing it into squares for easy consumption was established, and suddenly Vacation Bars were off and running.
The usual suspects are also involved – condensed milk – always the basis for something delicious, lime zest and juice, eggs and well that’s about it! The crust is Saltines (or Zestas if you are shopping at the Pig) butter, and brown sugar. Bake the crust a few minutes, let it cool, add filling and bake a few more minutes then into the freezer until company shows up. This is a perfect dessert bar, light and refreshing with the tang of the liquor (it’s cooked so no worries there) and the chill of the freezer making for a divine treat on a hot summer night. Make this and treat yourself to a delicious dessert perfect for sharing or hoarding – the freezer won’t tell! Enjoy!
1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crushed (I used a baggie and some aggression)
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Zest of 1 lime
½ cup lime juice
6 egg yolks
¼ cup tequilla
3 Tbsp Grand Marnier
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment paper (I used aluminum foil – make do with what’s on hand.)
In a mixing bowl combine crust ingredients.
Press into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Cool the crust while you make the filling
In a large mixing bowl (or the one you just used rinsed and dried) combine ingredients for the filling, stirring well to incorporate eggs with condensed milk.
Pour into cooled crust and bake another 15 to 20 minutes – it will still be a little jiggly in the center.
Freeze at least 2 hours, cut into squares and serve!