Cherry Lime Squares

August 2, 2009 – 2:23 pm

This is very loosely based of of a recipe I saw for a Cherry Lemon Custard Tart on some Food Network show a few years ago. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, a drinking straw works well, but is somewhat flimsy. I ended up using a little pocket screwdriver with the bit removed. It was just about the right diameter and didn’t have anything sharp to stab me without the bit in place. This was very tasty, but the lime dominated the bars completely. Next time, I think I’ll cut the amount of zest in half and add a splash of Kirsch to accent the flavor of the cherries as well. They’d be more square-like and less blob-like if I’d let them cool more, but this was very nice just a bit warm.

Cherry Lime Bars
Makes 16 servings

For the shortbread crust:
14 tbsp unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks), cold
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups all purpose flour

For the lime custard:
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
Juice and zest from 2 large limes (about ⅓ cup juice and 1 tbsp zest)
¼ cup all purpose flour

1 ½ lb fresh cherries, pitted (about 1¼ lb after pitting)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine the butter, sugar, and flour for the crust, mixing it together with a pastry cutter or your fingers until it looks mostly like coarse crumbs with some pea sized chunks of butter left. Dump the mixture into an 8″ x 8″ baking dish and press it down evenly into the bottom. Bake at 400 degrees until it just turns golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While it is baking, beat together the eggs and sugar for the custard until they are very light yellow in color and thick in texture. When the crust is just about done, whisk in the lime juice and zest and the flour.

When the crust is done, pull it out and reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees. Pour the cherries evenly over the crust, forming a single layer. Pour the custard over the cherries, filling the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until the custard is set and a toothpick comes out mostly clean, or an instant read thermometer reads 150 degrees.

Allow to cool for an hour before slicing into 16 bars and scooping onto plates to serve warm.

Nutritional Information Per Bar (assuming 16 bars in a batch)

Calories 231
Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 66 mg
Sodium 12 mg
Carbohydrates 32 g
Fiber 1 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 1%
Iron 4%

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