Coconut & Lime Bars

Ever since my holiday in the tropics I’ve been a bit obsessed with the combination of lime and coconut.  I’m still slathering on lime and coconut body lotion to recapture a little of that holiday in the tropics feeling.

At first, I wanted to make a super healthy treat (shhh … for that “other section” in this blog) but a couple of cookie experiments left me uninspired.  So this week I just thought what the heck, I’m making coconut lime bars.  Or slice as we like to call them here in Australia.  Whatever.   I was in the mood to make something buttery, sugary, coconutty and lime.

When it comes to fruit and coconut bars, it seems there are two camps.

  • Those who love a strong citrus or fruity tang with just a hint of coconut.  The filling layer is often very curd like in texture or jammy.  I love those.  My favourite, especially with citrus.
  • Those who prefer the kind where the coconut features with a lovely hint of fruit.  The filling is more textural with more coconut and has more substance.  A bit more custard-like or just more coconut cutting through the fruit.  Frankly I like these too, but my family certainly prefers these.

Of course, you can make the filling somewhere between these two … the important thing is to make sure it sits on a lovely shortbread crust.  Sweet, buttery and, in this case, with a little coconut to complement the filling.  And of course, you put de lime in de coconut … 😉

I wanted to make a version of both, to keep everyone happy.  This is the first instalment.  I wasn’t going to post it until I’d made both, but hey … might as well put it out there now.  They are really good.  As usual, I’ve put the photos together very quickly so we’re not winning any photographic beauty contests but … who cares?

The coconut lime layer for these bars is not tangy.  There is a lovely hint of lime to complement a thick coconut filling layer that has a bit of substance.  I used unsweetened organic shredded coconut.  The flavour is truly divine compared with the sweetened, sticky variety usually found in the supermarket.  If you can’t find it, then you might want to reduce the amount of sugar to compensate.

How high should the filling be?  Well, that’s another point of difference amongst folk.  I just went for about the same thickness of filling layer as for the crust layer.  The result is a really nice balance of flavours and textures.  If you like a thicker filling layer, just multiply the recipe for the filling by one and a half.

These bars are fabulous for an afternoon tea, a picnic or BBQ, and make a great treat anytime.

As we enjoy these now, I’m already thinking about making a tangy version with more lime 😀

I hope you enjoy these too!

Makes 12

110 grams unsalted butter, softened
40 grams coconut oil, softened
110 grams sugar
125 grams plain flour
50 grams coconut flour
pinch of sea salt
Coconut Lime Layer
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
120 grams sugar
100 grams pure cream
2 limes, grated zest and juice
30 grams coconut flour
35 grams shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Preheat the oven to 180℃.  Line a 22cm square cake tin with silicone baking paper.  A good tip is to use two strips of the same width as the tin and overlay them.  This creates a double layer over the base.  Set aside.

Combine the butter, oil, and sugar in a bowl and beat until very light and creamy and the sugar has dissolved. Sift in the flour and salt and beat until a soft dough forms.  Press the dough into the baking tin and make sure the dough surface is level across the width of the tin.

Bake for 10 – 12 mins until very light golden and slightly risen.  Remove from the oven, ready to add the filling layer.

Coconut Lime Layer
In a bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, cream, lime zest and juice and whisk until creamy.  add the coconut flour and whisk until smooth.  Finally, fold in the shredded coconut.

Pour the filling over the crust layer.  Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 170℃ and bake for a further 10 mins or until the coconut lime layer is set.  It will start to colour at the edges and won’t jiggle in the centre when set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.  When cool, remove from tin and cut into twelve bars.

Serve dusted with icing sugar.  To achieve the lattice effect in the photos, just place the bars under a wire rack on the diagonal and sift over some icing sugar.  It’s that easy.  It’s an old trick, but rather effective, don’t you think?

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