These Papaya Bars are a silky smooth custard using fresh papaya fruit on a bed of short bread crust. Perfect for picnics or summer-y get togethers.
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There’s this grocery store I only half like and it rhymes with Schrader Joe’s. The flowers, variety of cheeses and cheap bottles of booze, but man do they make me mad sometimes. Usually, I like to go shopping bright and early. On this particular day, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were carrying green papayas. I happily bought one, attempted to make this salad, only to discover when I cut into the dang “green papaya” that it was in fact a red papaya. So, there I was: “stuck” with this beautiful papaya that had no home, no future. I like to make the best of things and had remembered that I want to make lemon bars without the lemon part.
Generally, I have issues with lemon desserts. I’ve divulged this info before, I think. Every now and again, I do love them. Usually though, lemon bars are not my thing. They mostly leave me with a less than pleasing face. Pucker central, USA.
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What are Papaya Bars?
Papaya bars are modeled after lemon bars. There is a base of shortbread crust that is salty and buttery. The crust is topped with a tropical custard made with papaya puree.
As I have been seeing lots of papaya in smoothies lately, I wanted to try to do this! I’m thinking a thick papaya, banana, coconut situation sounds uh-mazing. Or better yet, a papaya lassi with cardamom and a dash of nutmeg.
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The color, flavor and texture is all a win. I pair this papaya with a few tablespoons of wildflower honey, which I picked up on the side of the road in Ojai a few weeks ago-it makes for a killer combo.
How to Make Papaya Bars
- Make the crust. This is the easiest part of the recipe. You pulse together flour, sugar, salt and butter until it resembles a course meal. Press the course crumbs into the baking dish.
- Bake the crust. Bake the packed course crumbs until the edges are set.
- Make the filling. Whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Then whisk in the papaya puree, eggs, lemon juice and honey. Pour the filling on top of the hot crust.
- Bake the bars until set. And then you take them out of the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- Dust the top with powdered sugar. Now, make it snow! Dust liberally with powdered sugar and enjoy.
If you make these Papaya Bars, let me know on Instagram.
Looking for more dessert type of recipes? Here are some other favorites:
- Gluten Free Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Cookies
- Strawberries and Cream Cake
- Late-Summer Peach Galette with Baklava-like Filling
- Summer Berry Pie