Holding Onto Summer

As our season shifts definitely from summer to fall, we can't help but miss the light, fruity tastes summer had to offer. But lest you feel you can only see them in your rear view mirror, it's time to work them into a decadent dessert:

Reminiscent of tangy fruit curds, the filling in these bars is packed with lime, coconut, and pineapple that will leave you thinking of your favorite tropical drinks. Heck, you could pull out your blender and make a batch of margaritas for old time's sake, but rest assured that these bars are equally lovely when paired with coffee or tea.

You could, in theory, omit the dried pineapple from these bars, but I adore the added texture it brings to the creamy, tangy lime filling. They become little bursts of intense, pineapple flavor. Really, it's just what you need after a blast of cold air has made you wistful about summer all over again. In fact, if you want, you could make a tropical feast featuring grilled pork, fruit salsa, black beans and rice, and any number of wonderful fruity drinks and have a batch (or two) of these waiting on your dessert table when dinner comes to an end. Hmm … Ideas …

Tropical Bars

  • 1½ c. plain flour
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • 6 T. cold butter cut into cubes
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ c. + ⅓ c. flaked coconut, divided
  • ½ c. dried pineapple, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350° F and spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine the flour, powdered sugar, butter, and canola oil in a large bowl and work with your fingers or a pastry blender until fine crumbs form. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until lightly golden in color.

While the crust is baking, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, lime juice, baking powder, and ¾ cup of flaked coconut. Whisk until well-combined. When the crust is done in the oven, remove it and carefully pour the egg mixture over it and sprinkle the chopped dried pineapple evenly over the top. Return the baking pan to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove the baking pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining ⅓ cup of flaked coconut over the top and return to the oven for another 10 minutes of baking or until the coconut is lightly browned and the filling is just set. Remove the baking pan from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.

  • Yields: 24 bars
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes