When I made these luscious lemon bars a while back, I had the idea to make an orange bar in the same way, but with a chocolate shortbread crust instead. Well, obviously, these are not those. My idea morphed as soon as I saw a key lime bar recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It looked so creamy and dreamy. I knew I had to make them. Instead of making them key lime though, I decided to pull in the orange flavor that I was looking for. These turned out so creamy and dreamy just like they looked on Half Baked Harvest’s website.
The interesting thing about these bars is the crust. It’s not a graham cracker crust like you would think. This buttery sweet crust is made with Ritz crackers. Hello buttery crust! It is sweetened a little with brown sugar, but boy is the buttery flavor delicious.
The filling, custard like portion, may look like cheesecake; don’t be fooled. It’s made with a good amount of sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and orange juice. Once it bakes up, it creates this creamy texture.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s topped with a honey whipped cream. Holy cow! How had I never thought of sweetening whipping cream with honey. What a refreshing change from powdered sugar.
These are the perfect spring dessert. They are refreshing and not heavy at all. These will surely impress anyone you serve them to.
- 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers (about 40 cracker or 2 cups crumbs)
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used Cara Cara)
- zest of one orange
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender, pulse the ritz crackers until they are in a fine crumb. Dump into the pan and add the brown sugar and melted butter. Mix together with your hands and then press into the pan. Bake for 10-13 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, eggs, orange and lemon juices, and salt. Pour over crust and bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool the bars for 1 hour at room temperature. Then cover the top with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to completely chill and firm up.
- Once the bars of chilled, make the whip cream. In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream with the honey until soft peaks form. Spread on top of bars and serve while cold.