Sunday, November 16, 2014
Should Life Hand You Lemons...Make Lemon Bars (and other things)!
I recently discovered I had a near to overwhelming amount of lemons in my crisper: I bought a few not realizing I already had couple and then there was a snafu with my favorite online food delivery service Fresh Direct where they delivered even more lemons instead of the limes I had ordered. I had first bought some lemons for recipes and drink garnishes but I don't make that much lemon chicken or drink that many vodka tonics with lemon wedges. So, what to do? Helen Rosner from Saveur magazine's 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar came to the rescue, in part, with her recipe for lemon bars. The underlying shortbread was wonderful and my curd topping tasted great; it just wasn't as firm as I would have liked--next time I would have left the bars longer in the oven once the curd topped the shortbread (which is baked first), somewhere around 15 minutes longer instead of the 10 minutes Ms. Rosner suggests, and also, really do refrigerate the bars for at least several hours after they have been cooled on the counter top for a firmer lemon curd, I think.
I also made preserved lemons and at the moment, I am using the juice from the last lemon to make a Caesar dressing found here to dress my kale later for a wonderful salad!
Make 16 Bars
FOR THE LEMON CURD:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST:
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ tbsp. sugar
2 ½ tbsp. confectioner's sugar, plus more for dusting
1⅓ cup flour
1. Whisk together sugar and eggs in a 2-qt. saucepan until smooth; stir in zest and juice. Place over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, until thickened to the consistency of loose pudding. Remove from heat and add butter, a couple cubes at a time, until smooth; transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
2. Heat oven to 325°. Combine butter, both sugars, and flour in a bowl and beat on medium speed of hand mixer until smooth and evenly combined. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined 8" square baking pan, and press into the bottom. Bake until lightly golden and set, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°, pour lemon curd over crust, and continue baking until slightly loose in the center, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely, and then refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and dust with confectioners' sugar to serve.
Thanks to themindunleashed.org for the juicy snap!