Recipe for Triple Citrus Bars – I’m sure you have had lemon bars a million times. And, they are delicious, one of my favorites. But, next time you have a taste for citrus…change things up a bit and try these triple citrus bars. You won’t be sorry.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with 2 pieces of foil perpendicular to each other, leaving overhang on all 4 sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
For the crust:
Pulse animal crackers in the food processor until broken down, ~ 10 pulses. Process the crumbs until evenly fine, about 10 seconds (you should have about 1 1/4 cups crumbs). Add brown sugar and salt; process to combine, 10 – 12 pulses (if large sugar lumps remain, break them apart with fingers). Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened, ~ 10 pulses. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Do not turn off oven.
For the filling:
While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zests, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add the condensed milk and whisk vigorously until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain. Whisk in the egg yolk. Add the 3 juices and whisk gently until incorporated (mixture will thicken slightly).
Pour filling into crust; spread to the corners and smooth the surface with rubber spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
To serve, loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil extensions. Cut the bars into 16 squares. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 2 days; the crust will soften slightly. Let the bars stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.