Sometimes, you have those nights, when it’s 9:30 pm, you want to bake something, but realize that anything you make is going to take almost an hour from start to finish (unless you make 5-minute cake of course). Well, that happened the other night and instead of settling on something that would actually be done in an hour, my roommates and I settled on lemon bars, which may take 10 minutes to bake, but then take another 2 hours to cool down in the fridge. Whoops! Well, we went forward anyway (actually, I didn’t realize they would have to cool for that long until I was half-way through making them, so there was no turning back).
The outcome – expedited by the freezer – was still delicious. I have a hard time in general with custards and this was no exception. I don’t think I let it heat up for long enough, making the lemon custard a little more liquidy than I would have liked, but after baking and freezing, it turned out just fine. I myself, am not the biggest sour lemon eater, but all my roommates, who suck on lemons as a hobby, said that they were the bars had the perfect balance of sweet and sour. I added coconut into the crust as per the recipe. I’m not sure it added anything to the crust, although mine wasn’t sweetned, so perhaps some sweet coconut would have tasted better and added to the texture. They are a delicious lemon lime bar that should be made in advance of any occasion, not in a rush 😉
LEMON LIME BARS
(Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
For the crust:
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbs dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melter
For the lemon lime filling
- 11 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbs fresh lime juice
- 2 tbs grated lemon zest
- 2 tbs grated lime zest
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
For the crust:
1) Preheat the oven to 3oo°F. Butter the side and bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2) Spread coconut on baking pan. Toast in oven for 7 to 10 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove from oven, toss the coconut, and return it to over for 3 more minutes.
3) Put the graham cracker crumbs in large bowl, add the toasted coconut and brown sugar, and toss with hand until combined. Add the melted butter.
4) Use hands to combine, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
5) Put the crust into the fridge for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.
For the lemon lime filling:
1) Increase over temperature to 325°F.
2) Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon and lime zests, and lemon and lime juices in large metal pot. Whisk until combined.
3) Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 180°F on a candy thermometer – about 10 minutes.
4) Remove from heat and whisk in butter and cream. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to press the curd through the sieve.
5) Make sure the curd is evenly distributed. Tap the pan gently against the counter to make a level layer.
6) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is just set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Wrap the pan in plastic, being sure to not let the plastic touch the filling, and put in fridge for at least two hours.
7) Enjoy 🙂
Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.