3:46 AM glows green. My sleep swollen eyes want more sleep, but my mind has other plans. Should I just get up? Read? Finish my key lime curd blog post? Bake muffins? Fill them with the leftover curd? Maybe I’ll go for a run. Maybe not. I turnover and watch my husband: his profile outlined by the ambient light in our bedroom, the chest I rest my weary head on nightly heaves up and down, his handsome face is relaxed, peaceful. I want to kiss the tiny, fine lines around his eyes. What are you dreaming about J? Have you escaped to someplace far away? I feel such tenderness for him.
Snore. Snore. Ugh. A good shove should do it. And hate. [Marriage is complicated in the dead of night. First light, we start again. Love renewed…mostly.] I turnover, face the blank wall and curl up like a newborn fresh out of the womb. Tonight, I will chase sleep like a coy lover. J seduced her a couple of kids ago. Good for him.
Eyes heavy again. I’m drifting. Little voice: “Mama? My belly hurts.”
5:30 am and the day has begun.
Key Lime Curd Coconut Bars
Creamy key lime curd paired with a whole wheat coconut crust and drizzled with melted white chocolate is a dessert you should commit to memory!
Makes 12 bars
Key lime curd recipe adapted from Food 52 lemon curd
Coconut crust adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Lemon Bars
Bars inspired by Taste of Home Easy Lemon Curd Bars
Ingredients for key lime curd:
1/2 cup key lime juice
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 stick + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 white chocolate chips, melted (for topping)
1/2 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut (for topping)
Directions for curd:
Pour two inches of water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Grab a stainless steel or oven proof glass bowl large enough so it will sit in the rim of saucepan without touching the water.
Using that bowl, whisk together the key lime juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. *Do not let the eggs and sugar sit together. The sugar will start to cook the yolks resulting in a granular texture.* Place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes very thick, about 10-12 minutes or when it registers 180F on a candy thermometer. You know it is ready when your whisk leaves a trail in the curd.
Remove bowl and allow to cool slightly (5 minutes or so), stirring occasionally. While the curd is cooling, cut the butter into 1 tablespoon pieces. Add the butter 1 piece at a time and whisk until completely incorporated. Alternatively, you could use a blender or immersion blender to incorporate the butter. The curd will be a slightly pale yellow and super thick. If you are not making the bars right away, store the curd in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
Ingredients for Coconut Crust:
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Spread 1/2 cup of coconut flakes on a small baking sheet and bake until the coconut is golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Cool.
Using a medium bowl mix together toasted coconut, flour, powdered sugar and butter until a dough forms. Spread the dough into the prepared baking pan and press evenly, covering the bottom of the pan. Bake crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
Once the crust is cool, pour the key lime curd on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle with a 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Bake until the curd is set and the coconut flakes are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Once cool, drizzle with melted white chocolate. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or overnight. Cut into 12 bars when ready to serve. Bars will last in an air-tight container for two days. Enjoy!
5 Key Lime Links!
Looking to combine your love of cheesecake with your love of key limes? The Merry Gourmet has a recipe for key lime cheesecake that will unite both loves into one delicious dessert.
Nostalgic, handheld desserts are the best kind of sweet treat. Head to Martha Stewart for her key lime whoopie pie recipe. Who doesn’t love a whoopie pie?
Key lime doughnuts? Yes, please! A Zesty Bite has the recipe for you.
Part cake, part custard; Foodness Gracious has a recipe for key lime magic cake that is sure to win the hearts of all!
Foodess’ no bake whipped key lime pie is on must make summer dessert list. I’m drooling…and dreaming of summer.