Every time I mention lemon or lime dessert, I get a quiet groan from my staff baker, C. No, not because she has an aversion to dessert or anything. It's just that when you multiply a citrus dessert recipe by let's say x8 or x16, you just gotta squeeze way too many limes or lemons.
Though we have a Kitchenaid Food Processor, with the juicer attachment, we tend to resort this good ol' wooden citrus reamer. It's so much more convenient to use and gets every ounce of that tart goodness out. That means C gets a good arm workout whenever she makes citrus dessert for church while I do other important things like running the dishwasher. You try getting 3 cups of lime juice; it's not easy and that's why I have the young people doing it.
These Coconut-lime bars C made last week was especially good. Fresh tartness of lime in creamy filling topped with toasty coconut.....you did great, C! Perhaps a commercial manual juicer would make her dessert making life a bit easier.....
Makes 16 bars
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated
5 ounces animal crackers
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
2 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (don't be tempted to use bottled lime juice)
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut , toasted until golden and crisp
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Foil line your 8 by 8 pan, lightly spray with oil spray. Set aside.
For crust, combine animal crackers, brown sugar and salt in a food processor, pulse until all pieces of cookies are finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse 3-4 times until it resembles coarse sand.
Pour mixture into foiled lined pan and press down firmly and evenly using a bottom of a measuring cup. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool while making the filling.
Using a hand held mixer in a medium speed, mix softened cream cheese and condensed milk until just combined, add lime zest, salt, and egg yolk until incorporated. Using a rubber spatular, add lime juice and fold in until combined.
Pour filling into the prepared crust and bake until just set, about 15-18 minutes, longer if doubling or tripling the recipe (cover loosely with foil if top is getting too brown). Cool to room temperature and then chill, covered in refrigerator, 2 or more hours.
Using the foiled edges, gently lift the cheesecake out of the pan, cut into 16 squares, top with toasted shredded coconut flakes and serve.
Note: for full size 2" deep full size steam size pans (or hotel pans), multiply recipe by 3 for each pan, which will yield 45 servings if cut 5x9