Visions and scents of tropical islands are right at your fingertips when you bake a batch of these delicious creamy mango lime bars. They are kind of like lemon bars, same baking process, just different fruit.
I think I have mentioned before that mangoes are one of my favorite fruits. I eat them every day. To think that as a child I completely shunned them. Go figure! Mangoes taste like something akin to a pineapple and a peach mixed together.
They’re super sweet with a touch of tartness, and if they’re perfectly ripe, they’re slightly firm yet melt in your mouth. I prefer these mango lime bars to lemon bars because of the sweetness the mango offers. I am not too keen on super sour foods and fruits, and the mango is a perfect counterbalance to that. The lime offers just a little bit of tang, but doesn’t overshadow the mango flavor.
I am always looking for ways to make mango desserts. You can check out my mango tart that I published a few weeks ago. If sweets aren't your thing, you might want to try a mango cocktail; it will take you to tropical lands where warm breezes blow. Need another mango idea? Why not mango habanero ribs, a perfect mix of sweet and spicy.
Mango lime bars are an anytime mango dessert. These lovely creamy mango bars are perfect to take to the department meeting, a picnic, or just to have at home. The latter can be dangerous, since they are so tempting. I try, unsuccessfully, to tell myself that they are healthy since they are made with fruit juice. Keeping a batch in your freezer is not a bad idea. I love the texture contrast of the crunchy cookie bottom with the creamy mango custard filling. Furthermore, the flavor contrast of sweet mango mixed with lime juice. The bright orange color is so appealing also. And yes, we have been over this before, I like pretty food.
Although you can enjoy mango at basically any time of year in the United States, summer remains the peak mango season since many of the mango varieties ripen during that time of year. Shockingly enough, there are over 500 varieties of mangoes. Mangoes weren’t grown in the U.S. until the 1800s, and still today, Asia produces about 75% of mangoes worldwide.
Mango puree or fresh mango
I choose to use mango puree for this recipe because it’s easily accessible. But there is definitely room for more flavor and freshness. In the summertime, I highly recommend using fresh mango if you have the time and access to them.
Although there are hundreds of mango varieties, I typically see two types of mangoes at my local grocery store. I most often see Tommy Atkins mangoes, which is the most commercially available mango variety in the United States. They’re known for being tart with sweet notes, and are orangey-red with green spots. I also see Honey mangoes most frequently. The only color it really shows is this beautiful, almost burnt orange color, kind of like the color of turmeric. They’re smaller than Tommy Atkins mangoes, but still pack a ton of sweet flavor.
I mention this because you might not have a lot of mango varieties to choose from at your local grocer. You may only see one variety, or maybe you live in Florida and see a ton! Don’t stress about the kind of mango to get.
Step by step photos
- Gather all your ingredients and have them measured and ready to go. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- To make the crust place the flour, shredded coconut, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter that has been cut into small pieces and pulse until it looks like corn meal. Pro Tip: DO NOT over pulse this or you will end up with a ball. This needs to be a fine meal and the butter may look like small peas.
- Line a 9" x 13" baking dish with parchment paper. Lay the paper in and trim at the corners for a tight fit. If you have metal binder clips you can clip the paper to the sides of the dish if you like. Place the crust mixture in the pan and press down lightly. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking prepare the filling by combining the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat slowly until smooth. After the eggs and sugar are smooth, add the flour.
- Take the fresh mango chunks and pulse in a small food processor until smooth. Pro tip: Do not use canned mango or mango nectar. Fresh mango is best.
- The mango should look like a smooth liquid with very small chunks.
- Add the mango to the mixing bowl.
- Add the lime juice to the mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
- Pour the filling on the warm crust and bake for 20 minutes or until set. I like to give mine the jiggle test after 15 minutes. Jiggle the pan and if it has waves like water it is not set but if it jiggles like jello then it is set. Repeat this test every few minutes until set.
- You can use a cake tester to see it if comes out clean when set also. Sprinkle with coconut while warm or powdered sugar after chilled when serving.
Mangoes, considered to be one of the world's oldest fruits are thought to have originated in Northeast India. They then spread west through both the whims of nature and human help. Mangoes spread to eastern Asia via Buddhist monks traveling to those territories. Later, Persian traders took mangoes to the Middle East and East Africa. Mangoes were brought to the western hemisphere by the Portuguese traders who at one point colonized the Indian subcontinent.
They’re still enjoyed in the aforementioned places. Did you know Mango is the national fruit of the Philippines? There’s a popular dish from Brunei that’s simply mango and sticky rice. In India, people frequently consume mango lassi, a yogurt-based smoothie made with mangoes of course. Here’s a quick recipe for it.
Mango health benefits
Mangoes have the natural advantage of being extremely nutritious. They are rich in vitamins A, C, potassium and omega 3's. Because they are low in calories, they make a wonderful snack if you happen to be dieting: if my sources are correct, a mango has about 140 calories. Limes are also high in vitamin C and have lots of antioxidants. By eating or drinking lime juice, you can increase your immunity, reduce heart disease risk factors, prevent kidney stones, aid with iron absorption, and promote clear and healthy skin. I know I told you all that this recipe isn’t really health-food, but it’s good to keep in mind to convince yourself otherwise!
Other mango recipes to try
I really hope you make a batch of these creamy mango lime bars for your next gathering, or just for your family!
If you enjoyed my creamy mango lime bars I would definitely recommend more of my mango desserts. Thai Mango Sticky Rice is one of my favorite Asian desserts and Mango Passionfruit Tart is another creamy mango pastry to serve on special occasions.
If sweets aren't your thing, you might want to try a mango cocktail; it will take you to tropical lands where warm breezes blow. I’ve also heard a lot of people say they dislike mangoes except in margarita form. Why not try out a mango margarita from scratch? You’ll feel like you’re on a sandy beach in Mexico in no time!
Not really into sweets but want to incorporate mango somehow into your diet? I got you covered. I have tons of savory mango recipes. Why not mango habanero ribs, a perfect mix of sweet and spicy. Or this mango tomatillo salsa, perfect for hanging out with friends! This mango black bean salsa also does the trick.
Creamy Mango Lime Bars
Sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy! You'll love these creamy mango lime bars with sweet and tart flavors and a crunchy shortbread crust.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp flour sifted
- 1 cup mango fresh purée
- 4 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp coconut shredded for decoration, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper that goes all the way up the sides. Trim at the corners for a tight fit. Use metal binder clips on the sides to hold the paper if you like.
To make the crust place the flour, shredded coconut, salt and sugar in the food processor. Pulse to combine all the dry ingredients.
Add in the butter and pulse to combine all the ingredients until they come together. Do not over pulse. You want to stop when the mixture looks like corn meal and the butter is the size of small peas.
Place in the bottom of the baking pan and press down lightly.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
Prepare the filling while the crust bakes. Place the eggs and the sugar in the bowl of a stand up mixer and beat until smooth. Slowly add the flour, mango pulp, and lime juice. Continue to beat until all the ingredients have been combined.
Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake for about 20 minutes until set. I like to give mine the jiggle test after 15 minutes. Jiggle the pan and if it has waves like water it is not set but if it jiggles like jello then it is set. Repeat this test every few minutes until set.
Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and refrigerate until ready to use. You can top with powdered sugar as an option when chilled also. Slice the bars when chilled.