Sunday, January 24, 2010

Raising the Bar, part 1: Lemon-Lime Slice

The Aussies are here! And they come bearing recipes! Let's see if I can get you up to speed in 500 words or less:
  • Good friends Marc and Christy welcome son #1, Kieran, into the world last February.
  • Goal: get Kieran through his first year of life without sending him to day care. 9-week stints of maternity leave, paternity leave/vacation time and local grandparent care get them through 9 months. That leaves 3 months to go.
  • Enter the Australian grandparents, Margaret and Bruce. They came from Down Under to finish out the year as Kieran's daytime care providers, but manage to throw dinner parties and make untold amounts of goodies as well.
So the dashing young Kieran brought them here, but I have luckily been on the receiving end of their culinary dalliances a couple of times during their soon-ending tenure. This cookie-esque bar is apparently a favorite sweet treat back home, and everyone who has tried it here has loved it as well. And I even made a batch myself! After sharing a batch lovingly made by Margaret with friends at a holiday social gathering (and watching them all disappear before I could snap a photo), I had to try my hand at making them so I could share them here, properly documented. I took the batch I made to yet another social gathering, and once again - huge hit. They're tangy and tart - and despite all the coconut, they're not overly coconutty (that's a word - swear). And music to my ears: no baking required. They honestly couldn't be any simpler. So, thank you, my visiting Australian friends for sharing. I hope you come back soon!

Lemon-Lime Slice
Contributed by Christy Giambastiani via Margaret Gillard

  • 2 cups animal crackers or graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Rind of 2 lemons and 2 limes
In a saucepan, on low heat, melt butter and blend together with condensed milk. Pour this into the cracker crumbs, coconut and rind of the lemons and limes. Mix well and press this mixture into a 9x12-inch glass baking dish. Level it out. Refrigerate for a few hours, then spread with icing after refrigeration.

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Juice of 2 lemons and 2 limes
  • 2 cups coconut
Stir the powdered sugar, butter and lemon/lime juice over low heat. Pour over base, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with coconut and refrigerate for an hour to set. Cut into squares.

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