Monday, October 3, 2011

Lemon Coconut Bars

Lemon bars with a coconut crust and garnish. How's that sound to you? 

Well, I went a little crazy in the supermarket last week and bought two bags of lemons. I love lemons but it was only when I got home when I realised that perhaps 20 was a little bit too much. I could make lemonade, I guess. I could make a lemon pound cake, I suppose. Who am I kidding, with 20 lemons, I could make lemonade, a pound cake and still have too many lemons left over.

Overzealous. Gotta have more restraint next time. 

So, I made some lemonade (deliciously refreshing) but I axed the pound cake. I decided to make lemon bars instead. A tangy lemon bar with a shortbread crust. A sweet, citrus bar with a coconut, shortbread bar. Boy! I was getting quite excited. 

Nevermind that the lemon bar would just use up one, maybe two lemons. I was already imagining how the bars would taste. Picture this: a sweet, sightly crumbly shortbread laced with coconut flakes, toasted of course + a tart, soft, lemon filling that was not quite custard and not quite cake. The sweet, salty and coco-nutty crust with the tangy, fresh citrus filling. Topped with a sprinkling of coconut flakes, untoasted.

I decided to make a simple sandwich for dinner just so I could get right to the bars as quickly as possible. A light sandwich so I had space in my tummy for the bars.

Best idea I had!

Lemon Coconut bars
For the crust
11/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
pinch of salt
113gms cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup desiccated coconut, toasted

For the filling
3/4 cup Castor sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 eggs
11/2 tsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 180C.

Line a 20 X 20cm baking tray with aluminum foil with a overhang on two sides.

First the crust: Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and coconut and mix it into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and it starts to clump together a bit.

Press the crumbs onto the baking tray evenly. Bake for about 20 mins or until the edges of the crust starts to brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Whisk all the ingredients together till smooth.

Pour the filling into the warm crust once it's ready and bake for  about 20-25 minutes until the lemon filling begins to brown. It should be just set and feel springy.

Cool and then garnish with desiccated coconut or icing sugar or both.

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