Now that the temperatures are rising and bulbs are blooming, I am abandoning robust winter dishes for lighter ones, and, in particular, I have been adding cool, refreshing desserts to my repertoire.
Among my new creations, delectable lime pistachio bars have become a personal favorite. I love lemon bars and decided to try a variation of these celebrated confections.
They can be doubled or tripled easily and prepared a day ahead, so they are ideal for parties.
Lime Pistachio Bars
Makes 16 bars
for the crust:
nonstick vegetable cooking spray
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small chunks
for the filling and topping:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons lime zest (grated color portion of rind)
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/3 cup chopped unsalted, shelled pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange a rack at the center position. Spray the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place flour and confectioners sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add butter, then process, pulsing machine until mixture resembles coarse meal. (By hand, place flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and add butter. Cut butter into dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two table knives.) Remove mixture from processor and knead gently until it holds together and forms a solid mass. Press dough evenly into prepared pan.
Bake until crust is lightly colored, about 15 to 18 minutes, and then remove from oven but retain oven temperature.
To prepare filling, place eggs in a mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, flour and baking powder, and beat a minute more at high speed. Remove and stir in lime zest and juice. Pour mixture over the baked crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Return pan to oven and bake until top is light brown and center is set, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the pistachios over the top, pressing them down so they adhere well. Using a long, heavy sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. If not using immediately, arrange the squares on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
Pub Date: 4/26/98