Thursday, 7 November 2013

Lemon Coconut Bars

Lemon bars are happy.  It's the color, it's the bright yellow, it's the tart and the sweet and soft filling against the crunch of the base.  Lemon bars are what you need on a dark winter's day in Scotland.

See, I have this wonderful weather app: it not only tells you what the current temperature is but it tells you what it feels like.  I've surely mentioned this.  I love talking about the weather, it's all I talk about with people.  Weather and food.  Those were certainly the main topics of conversation at the lunch where these lemon coconut bars were consumed, so I wouldn't be surprised if you find me talking about this exact same weather app in other posts. 

Anyway, this app told me this morning that it was 2C but it felt like -4C.  Brr.  I'm practically wearing a duvet outside, yet there are still girls going around showing their legs.  They usually are the ones with beautiful legs, and I admire them, not judge them, admire them for being able to put up with the cold. 

So it's cold but what's worse is that it's dark.  But brighten your day up with these lemon bars.
Thank you Maria Faciolince for the beautiful photographs.  You guys should check out her tumblr - I don't know much about photography but hers take my breath away. 

Remember the Lemon Basil Bars?

Well here comes the coconut version. 

It's pretty similar, but the crust is made with coconut oil instead of butter and the lemon filling instead of basil.

And you can do more variations as well - why not add some honey, nuts, other herbs like lemongrass and ginger. Or even chocolate chips!

I have to say, disappointingly, the crust didn't taste of coconut BUT for me its texture was a lot better than the one with butter - less crumbly and crunchier actually. 

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Lemon Bars recipe
3/4 cup/170g coconut oil, melted
1 3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup icing sugar
3/4 tsp salt

4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Grease and line a 9x13 inch baking dish

Make crust: Whisk together flour, icing sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add coconut oil, stir with a wooden spoon until combined and the mixture looks crumbly.

Transfer mixture to prepared dish, press evenly onto bottom with your hands.  Freeze crust for 15 minutes.  Bake until slightly golden, 15-18 minutes.  Leave oven on.

Meanwhile, make the filling.

Whisk all the filling ingredients together and pour over the hot crust. 

Reduce oven to 160C/325F and bake until filling is set, about 18 minutes.  Let cool, cut into squares, and garnish with more shredded coconut.

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