Brown butter lucuma bars taste exotic yet familiar at the same time. Bake the lucuma bars when you want to impress your foodie friends while still satisfying those with less adventurous palates. Lucuma is a fruit most commonly found in Ecuador, Peru, and Chile with a pulp that has a texture like sweet potato or pumpkin and a flavor that some describe as maple-like (although I find the taste to be more of a cross between persimmon and plum).
If you’re in the U.S. and you’ve had lucuma, it was most likely a powdered form of lucama that was used to flavor ice cream (if you are a raw foodist, you may have also used the powder as a sweetener). In fact, I heard of lucuma for the first time when my friends Ian and Gabi mentioned that my candy cap mushrooms (also considered to have a maple flavor) reminded them of lucuma ice cream they had sampled. While lucuma powder has its place (I’ll be writing about its use in frosting soon), lucuma pulp is also a wonderful ingredient to work with. If you are lucky enough to live near an international or Latin grocery store, you should be able to find lucuma pulp in the freezer case. Simply defrost the lucuma pulp and use it in place of pumpkin or sweet potato in your favorite dessert recipes. I went with lucuma bars, but lucuma pie is now on my to-try list.
These brown butter lucuma bars are a special treat – decadent, subtly sweet (like Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole), and basically irresistible. Sadly, I know some of you won’t be able to try them because lucuma may not be available in your area. If you like the concept but can’t find lucuma, this same recipe can be made with sweet potato, pumpkin, or persimmon pulp.
Brown Butter Lucuma Bar Recipe
These brown butter lucuma bars are loosely based on the pumpkin pecan pie bars from Pastry Wiz – the obvious difference being that the lucuma bars have no pecans and no pumpkin.
Brown Butter Lucuma Bars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 16 ounces lucuma pulp or mashed sweet potato, pumpkin, or persimmon pulp
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 large eggs beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Melt butter in a small cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pot on medium-heat.
- Continue cooking butter, stirring periodically, until it browns - about ten minutes.
- Remove browned butter from heat.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix sugar, flour, oats, and baking powder.
- Mix in the browned butter. It's OK if the butter is still hot (just make sure that your bowl can take the heat).
- Press a little more than half of the flour mixture into the bottom of a baking pan.
- Bake for twenty minutes.
- While the crust is baking, combine lucuma, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs in a medium-sized bowl.
- When the crust is done, spread the lucuma mixture over the crust.
- Top with the remainder of the flour mixture.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until set.
- Cool and cut into bars.