Lemon Lime Bars

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I have to agree with Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, “Curd is an ugly word for a delicious dessert”. As I’ve said in my lemon curd post, it is very versatile and can be used for a variety of things. This curd is smooth and tangy and is absolutely divine on top of the golden brown graham cracker-coconut crust. This dessert is perfect for summer, and is one of my favorite desserts I’ve made this season.

from: Baked: New Frontiers In Baking
makes: 24 bars

for the graham-coconut crust
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15-17 crackers)
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

for the lemon lime filling
11 large egg yollks
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup heavy cream

make the graham-coconut crust

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13- inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7  to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.

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Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut and the brown sugar, and toss with your hands until combined.

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Add the melted butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, 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.

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Put the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.

Make the lemon lime filling

Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Fit a candy thermometer onto a large, clean metal pot. Put the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon and lime juices, and lemon and lime zests into the pot.

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Whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 180 F, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the 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.

Make sure the curd is evenly distributed. Tap the pan gently against the counter to make a level layer.

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 (do not let the plastic touch the filling) and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

The bars will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for 2 days.

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2 Replies to “Lemon Lime Bars”

  1. Debbie Lillegard says:

    Hi Alison, I love Lemon curd, and coconut. I really want to try this recipe… I’m already thinking of substitutions because I’m not crazy for Graham Crackers – too sweet for me.
    Have you ever substituted other crusts? Example: crushed pretzels or Zwieback biscuits (baby teething biscuits) for graham crackers?
    I have two recipes with alternate crusts (other than graham crackers):
    Cocoa Cheese Cake (crust is Zwieback Toast) – love the crust, it may have a little lemon added.
    Strawberry Pretzel Salad (from America’s test kitchen – a lot of work) – it’s an updated version of old 50’s recipe.

  2. The Ruby Spoon says:

    Hi Debbie! I have never tried Zwieback biscuits, but I love the crushed pretzel crust idea (I’m a pretzel fiend). I also really like ginger snaps for a substitute, they are especially nice paired with a citrus dessert like this one. My family loves key lime pie with a gingersnap crust. I suppose you could try animal cracker cookies, vanilla wafers, or I’ve even heard of crushed sugar cones. I also love those Jules Destroop buttery wafer cookies (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LLCW14/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=1944687542&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000FBOAOQ&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0T63MSRMGER1X764FE5J). I have never tried them as a crust, but I think they would taste good with these bars. You’ve inspired me, now I have to try some new crust ideas!

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