Put the Lime in the Coconut

And I drank ’em both up…or nommed them both down, as it were.

Last night as I was actively tried to avoid finishing the rest of my workout DVD’s, I opted for cleaning the apartment, walking the dog in the pouring Seattle rain, and then cleaned out my freshly stocked fridge. As I rummaged through the beleaguered shelves tossing items to and fro I stumbled onto the rest of my silky key lime curd that had somehow managed to dodge me and a spoon both pining for it’s demise. What ever should I do with such deliciousness. It was time to put up or shut up – use it or toss it. I opted for using the remains of the curd, as any stingy frugal cook who makes something and refuses to waste a bit of it would. But this trendy on frugality only extends to food. When I’m at the tail end of a bottle of shampoo or tooth paste I’m perfectly content to round file the last bits in order to obtain a fresh batch of product. And it drives my beloved up a wall. Poor man.

But with a full 2 cups of curd to use, I decided it was best placed in a short bread crust and baked into zesty submission. Key Lim Bars, well sure if you don’t mind! What might make that better though? A little coconut! Of course! Who do you think I am?

Into the shortbread crust went an addition of 1/2 cup of coconut shreds, just to seal the deal on the tropical flair. Using the basis for Cook’s Country‘s Lemon Bars, I went to work. Bars have never been easier. Since I already had cooled curd to use, I was able to save a lot of time.

But if you’re making this from scratch begin by making the Key Lime Curd according to directions and allow to cool.

After preheating my oven to 350 degrees, I combined 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter softened and cubed, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup un-sweeted coconut shreds into my food processor. The mixture was pulsed until it began to resemble a coarse meal. Next it was pressed into the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan and baked for 15 minutes, rotating in the oven half way through the process to evenly bake.

Once done baking, fill the shortbread shell with the slightly cooled curd. Return to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes. Wham Bam Thank you Ma’am! Allow to cool for two hours and then devour. The guys at work at these in three hours flat. Okay, fine. I helped – devouring two. What? They’re freakin’ tasty! Don’t judge. Go make them for yourself and see if you can resist them.

Yield: 16 bars

Key Lime and Coconut Bars

Ingredients:

Key Lime Curd:

1/2 cup Butter, unsalted and room temperature

1 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Key Lime Juice

1 Tbsp Key Lime Zest

3 whole Eggs

2 Egg Whites


Shortbread Crust:

1 1/2 cup Flour

1/2 cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

1 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Butter, cubed

1/2 tsp Salt


Directions:

For Key Lime Curd:

In a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, allowing to mix completely before beating in another egg. Beat in key lime juice and zest until incorporated.


Over medium heat, in a heavy bottom pot or a double boiler, stir cream/egg/lime mixture. Stir mixture frequently until temperature reaches approximately 170 degrees and the mixture begins to thicken. Approximately 10 minutes. Pour into bowl and let cool in fridge. .


For Shortbread Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until mixture begins to resemble coarse meal. Press into the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking sheet. Bake on middle rack to brown for 15 minutes, rotating half way through baking.

Remove from oven.


Final Assembly:

Pour key lime curd into the shortbread crust. Smooth curd so it reaches all corners of the crust. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for two hours before cutting. Slice, serve and devour.


Inspired and adapted from Cook's Country Lemon Bars