I love lemon desserts! They’re tangy and sweet at the same time, and not too rich, like a piece of flourless chocolate cake would be. Plus, every time we go to the fruit store, my son picks up a lemon and just HAS to buy it. This means we have a lot of lemons in the house. So when I was racking my brains for a great summer dessert, of course something with lemons came to mind. Of course, lemon meringue pie was possible, but I wanted something that travels well. While flipping through the “bar cookies and brownies” section of my Bon Appetit Desserts book, I came across this recipe, and was happy to see I had all the ingredients to make the dessert! Decision made.
After making the crust in the food processor, I realized that I didn’t have an 8×8 metal baking pan. I have quite a collection of baking pans on top of my kitchen cabinets, including many different sized round ones and 6×6 and 4×4 squares, but not what this recipe called for. I decided against using a glass Pyrex with rounded edges, because I wanted all the lines to be straight and even. We took a walk to a store that might sell what we needed, but found nothing. So I settled on a 7×10 tart pan with fluted edges and I’m so glad I did!
Making something like these bars with a shortbread-ish crust is SO much easier to remove when you just take off the sides. No need to line with foil and leave overhang. I had beautiful sides for my dessert and hardly had to clean up. It was the perfect size for a bar dessert and I can’t wait to use this tart pan again to make these again soon.
Coconut Lemon Bars, adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts:
Makes 16 bars (or more, depending how you cut them)
For the crust:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, then cooled
- 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar,
1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In your food processor, blend flour, sugar, and salt.
3. Add coconut and butter and process until the mixture looks like a fine meal and begins to clump together.
4. Gather dough into a ball and press evenly over the tart pan. I like to go up the sides a little so that the filling doesn’t leak to the bottom.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust starts to become golden brown.
7. Make filling: In the same food processor, combine sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend until smooth.
8: Remove crust from oven.
9. Pour filling evenly over hot crust and return to oven to bake, about 30 minutes, until the filling is set.
10. Cool bars completely.
11. Transfer lemon bars to your counter and remove sift powdered sugar on top. Cut into bars.
These can be refrigerated in an air tight container in a single layer for up to 5 days.