Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lemon Pie Bars

Austin and I have been trying to swim 3 times a week for the past month or so.  (He decided he wanted to do a triathlon this summer for some crazy reason.)  And while I really like to swim, I still need some motivation to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m., drive to the pool, and jump in cold water.  I need even more motivation to shower with random strangers, but that's beside the point and probably a whole post in and of itself!
When I'm running, sometimes music can be pretty motivating.  The thought that I might see some wildlife out biking, keeps me pedaling.  In the water though, there's not much you can do to keep yourself splashing around.

I've talked about it before, but I use food as a motivation (duh!).  Not just like, "if I swim harder or longer, I can eat more calories throughout the day because I got my workout in," but more in the way of imagining a big piece of pie at the end of the lane or maybe just beyond the reach of my fingertips.  Probably why sometimes my stroke gets a little anxious and desperate.
Because of nostalgia and weird associations, I really only want key lime pie and Propel (like the Gatorade stuff).    I also can only get pumped for swimming by listening to Dixie Chicks and John Mayer (I know).  When I made these Lemon Pie Bars a few weeks ago, memories flooded back and again I found my motivation!  Tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m., you'll find me in the end lane...I'll be the one drooling.

Recipe from The Back in the Day Bakery
3 c. graham cracker crumbs (~24 halves)
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 c. fresh lemon juice
2 - 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
6 egg yolks
whipped cream

1.  Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Stir together then press into a greased 9x13" pan.  Bake at 350˚ for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2.  Whisk together cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks.  Pour over the crust (cooled).

3.  Prepare a water bath (use a larger roasting pan with enough water to go halfway up the sides of the lemon pie bar pan.  Bake at 325˚ for 20-25 minutes (the inside should be set).  Remove from water bath and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before transferring to the refrigerator.

4.  Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


  1. I thought these looked delicious when I saw that cookbook. Glad you made them. I'd be motivated to go for a swim if I had these, too.

    Also, you can listen to music while you are swimming. I have a thing that hooks to the back of my goggles and I can put my nano in it. It's pretty awesome and makes the swim go by much faster.

    1. I almost bought one of those waterproof cases a while back off of the clymb...should have. Oh well, for now, it's just lemon pie bars and propel :)

  2. Yumm!! These look super yummy! I've done mini lime pies that are similar to these bars.

    I know exactly how you feel about finding motivation about swimming-- I used to be a competitive swimmer! I always find that if I go with someone else who is dedicated, that pushes me to not skip the workout!

    1. Going with someone else is definitely key! (Unless of course, you spend the whole time chatting with a kickboard! - that's what my sister and I used to do all the time.)

    2. Kicking is still a good long as you are moving....Many consider going for a walk/hike/jog a workout and you can chat while you are doing those things, too.

    3. It's definitely better than nothing, I just don't know if we always got the BEST workout we could have!


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