These are not your ordinary bakeshop lemon bars. The crunchy, chewy base is laced with shredded coconut and topped with an extra-thick layer of lemon curd.
For The Shortbread Crust
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 whole graham crackers
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 large egg yolks
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup finely grated lemon zest (from about 8 lemons)
- 1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside. Spread out coconut on a small rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 2 minutes, until light golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let coconut cool in pan.
Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground (there should be about 1/4 cup). Transfer to a small bowl; stir in coconut and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Add flour, vanilla, and salt. Mix just until dough begins to form. Fold in coconut-crumb mixture (dough will be soft and will hold together when pressed between your fingers).
Press dough evenly onto bottom of prepared dish (smooth surface with an offset spatula, if desired). Using a fork, prick dough all over.
Bake crust until golden brown and just set, 18–22 minutes. Set aside.
Cook egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly and beating in as much air as possible (keeping the whisk moving prevents the curd from burning and the eggs from scrambling), until curd has thickened and begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Remove immediately from heat.
Whisk in butter and coconut milk until butter is fully incorporated and curd is smooth. Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve directly onto baked crust. Smooth top.
Bake bars until center of filling is just set, 15–17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill until cold, 2–3 hours. DO AHEAD: Lemon bars can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
Cut into bars. Serve cold.