Lemon-Lime Bars with Gingersnap Crust

The guys who put together the awesome dessert book Baked are completely right when they say “curd is an ugly word for a delicious dessert.” Why is this magical, velvety, citrusy better-than-pudding substance called something that sounds so gross?

The guys who put together Baked are also not afraid of EXTREMELY rich desserts, and while I admire that, I also get a tiny bit panicked when I see that a recipe calls for eleven egg yolks. ELEVEN! I am not afraid of butter or sugar, and I will happily use cream, but for some reason eleven egg yolks seemed excessive, so I scaled it down a bit and I don’t think anyone missed those 5 extra yolks.

After last week’s gingerbread cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting I decided the lemon-ginger combination doesn’t occur enough in my life, so instead of the graham crackers called for in the crust, I used gingersnaps and I definitely think that was the right decision! These are incredibly rich, but sometimes life just calls for incredibly rich dessert.

(adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
2 cups gingersnap crumbs (pulse about 20 gingersnaps in the food processor)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

lemon-lime curd
6 egg yolks
5 large eggs
1 3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp grated lime zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and sliced 1″ thick
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes or until golden.

Stir together the gingersnap crumbs, coconut, sugar, and butter, and pat evenly into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9″ baking dish. Bake for about 12 minutes, then remove and let cool completely before adding filling.

To make the filling, turn the oven up to 325 F. Combine the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, lemon zest, and lime zest in a large, clean saucepan. Whisk to combine, then set over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is 180 F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened butter and cream until smooth. Pour through a mesh sieve into the cooled crust, then gently tilt the pan so the curd covers the crust evenly. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the filling is set.

Put the pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares to serve.

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