Hands up if you like lemon bars!
When summer temps hit, I crave all things lemon. Homemade lemonade, lemon bars, and lemony salads.
When doing research for lemon bars, I noticed there are two main ways to make them. One way is to cook lemon curd on the stovetop, then pour it over a baked crust and leave it in the fridge to set. The other way is to pour the uncooked lemon egg filling over a partially baked crust and finish cooking it all together in the oven.
Do you make lemon bars? Which method do you prefer?
I prefer the second way because the filling partially seeps into the crust as it bakes, making a two-layered but cohesive custard bar. Although the other way is also good, slathering thick lemon curd over a cookie base or cake seems like a completely different dessert to me. If that's your jam, try out this deconstructed lemon trifle.
But today's bars are slices of lemon custard bliss. The base is quickly made by blending cashews, coconut and honey together in a food processor. It's pressed into a baking dish, pre-baked, then covered with a simple lemon custard mixture and returned to the oven once more. Once baked, these bars are reminiscent of a lemony buttermilk pie, but in a convenient handheld slice.
Not too sweet nor too tart, this is the perfect everyday summer dessert.
Lemon Cashew Bars
Makes 15 bars
Notes: I prefer these bars lightly sweetened. If you want them sweeter, add 1-2 Tbsp. more honey in the filling and/or base. The base will seem very thin when you press it into the baking dish. Don't be alarmed! It rises and thickens a bit in the oven.
Cashew Cookie Base
- 1 cup (148 gr) cashews
- 1 cup (100 gr) unsweetened shredded/desiccated coconut
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. softened extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Heaped 1/4 tsp. salt
Lemon Custard Filling
- 4 large eggs
- 5 Tbsp. honey
- Zest of one large lemon
- 1/2 cup/120 ml of lemon juice (~2 juicy lemons)
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot
- 3 Tbsp. softened extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 175 F/350 C. Line an 8x12 in (20x30 cm) baking dish with parchment paper that comes up the sides of the dish.
- Add all ingredients for cashew cookie base to the bowl of a large food processor. Blend until you get a fine crumb and mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers. (Do this in two batches if using a mini food processor.)
- Dump base into lined baking dish. Use wet fingers/palm to press down firmly, from the middle out to edges to get an even, compact base. Pre-bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Base should be light golden brown at this point.
- In the meantime, make the filling. Add eggs to a large, deep mixing bowl and use a handheld electric mixer to beat until frothy. Add remaining filling ingredients and beat with mixer for another minute, until very well combined. Pour over base and return to oven.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, until center is firm and top is golden brown. (Mine is done in 17 minutes, using convection/fan.) Let cool in the dish for 10 minutes before transferring, with parchment paper intact, to a wire rack to cool further. Slice into bars. Store in an airtight container on the counter for 2 days, or in the fridge for 5.