Lime Bars

Lime bar

For our dessert, we will have a little twist on a traditional favorite, Lime Bars. The tartness of these bars is a perfect complement to the slightly tart undertones of the pomegranate lamb stew. These are similar to lemon bars, but the lime makes a big difference in the flavor.  Limes are a bit less bitter than lemons, so less sugar is needed when using them.

A few things to note: since the limes are going to be different sizes, you may get slightly different results each time.  It’s ok, as they will be delicious regardless.  Just be sure to get to about the right amount of juice and zest. Also, the egg yolks contribute a lot more color then the limes and zest, so the bars are naturally yellow.  Adding a drop of food color makes them a cool green color but is totally optional. If you like your bars a little thicker, you can use a slightly smaller pan and they should turn out fine; they may need to just cook a bit longer.

For the chocolate on top, all you need to do is melt the white chocolate and pipe it on. Instead of buying piping bags, just put the white chocolate in a plastic bag. Squish it down into a corner and cut off the tip of the corner. Then just squeeze from the top, and you have a quick piping bag! Be careful not to heat the chocolate too hot, as it could burn the chocolate or your hand.  It just needs to be soft enough to pipe out.

One of the nicest things about this menu is that you can prepare almost everything ahead of time. In fact, the pomegranate lime stew and the lime bars will be even better if they are allowed to rest in the fridge over night and given time for their flavors to meld. You can even prepare everything for the salad ahead of time, just don’t dress it until just before serving.

When you are left with a bunch of egg whites at the end of this, I recommend either saving them for very light omelets or making some meringue.

Crust Ingredients:

1 ¼ c all-purpose flour

½ c powdered sugar

4 tsp salt

1 stick of butter

Filling Ingredients:

3 whole eggs

6 egg yolks

1 c sugar

¼ c loose or 1/8 c packed lime zest (about 5 limes)

¾ c lime juice (from your zested limes)

Pinch of salt

½ stick butter, cut into cubes

3 Tbsp heavy cream

1 drop green food coloring (optional)

Directions:

1)      Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2)      Put all of the crust ingredients in a food processor.

3)      Pulse until well incorporated.  When you squeeze it, it should be the consistency of wet sand.

4)      Line an 8×8 pan with foil and grease with butter or cooking spray. Leave some foil hanging over the edge for easy removal.

5)      Press the crust into the bottom of the tray as evenly as possible and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6)      Place the crust in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. While you are cooking the crust, make the filling.

7)      Mix the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt in a small pot.

8)      Add in the lime zest, juice and food coloring.  Mix well.

9)      Over low heat, add in the butter.  Stirring constantly with a non-metal spoon, cook to about 165 degrees. (If you don’t have a thermometer, cook till it is warm and the consistency of jam.)

10)   Strain through a mesh strainer and then mix with the heavy cream.  Add food coloring if desired.

11)   When the crust is golden brown, add the lime filling to the crust and spread evenly.

12)   Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

13)   Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before refrigerating.

14)   When cooled down, cut into 2 inch squares and top with a drizzle of white chocolate.

15)   Serve and enjoy!

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