minisummer

Right now we’re in the midst of a strange but wonderful time of med school. Post-boards and pre-third year clinical rotations, we have a month-long research block to work on independent projects and also to recharge and refresh ourselves for what is touted to be the most rewarding, yet most grueling year of med school. During this time, I’m working on a project on healthy cooking and nutrition and having a great time doing it. I’m also embracing the weekends and evenings to enjoy exploring the city and spending time with friends before the marathon that is the third year of med school begins.

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In the spirit of this mini summer, last night we pretended the rain and wind weren’t whipping around us and enjoyed a very summery meal. My friend Camil expertly whipped up a batch of these amazing strawberry basil drinks and cooked up a delicious meal of carnitas tacos with all of the fixings. I was on dessert duty and thought that something citrusy and berry-filled would be fun and festive.

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The combo of blackberry and lime struck me as a good one, and I came upon a recipe for blackberry lime bars. A buttery graham cracker crust is topped with a simple filling of sweetened condensed milk and eggs spiked with fresh lime juice and zest and folded around big juicy blackberries. It took less than an hour to put together and was incredibly good, complete with all the components of a decadent key lime pie, but lighter in size and bursting with a healthy dose of fresh fruit, which was perfect after our delicious Mexican feast. I can definitely imagine many other berry and citrus combos working beautifully here, like blueberry & lemon or grapefruit & raspberry. Add this to your summer dessert repertoire immediately!

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Blackberry Lime Bars

adapted from Sweet Basil

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tbsp butter, melted

¼ cup sugar

dash of salt

14 oz sweetened condensed milk

2 egg yolks

zest of 2 limes

½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1 pint fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a square baking pan (9×9 or 8×8). Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt and press into the bottom of the pan, distributing the mixture evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks in a large bowl. Add lime zest and juice. Fold in fresh blackberries. Pour filling mixture over crust and bake for another 12-15 minutes, until set. Allow to cool in the pan on a rack to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

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