Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lemon Bars

I hope this post makes you drool. Skoticus will be so proud of my pictures, they are lovely. Remember those super sweet, tart, almost fake tasting lemon bars you grew up with and devoured without thought? These aren't those. You have the soft crust, like a shortbread cookie, layered with a custard lemon center that has the best of a lemon in it, without being overpowering. The top is a nice crusty crumb top that gives texture to the whole dessert. Oh, yes, they are good.

I even hunted down a really cool glass plate I got from my mom's collection that I dusted off for these pictures. They had to be outside, lemon bars are only for spring and summer days, so the green grass fits oh so well.
I really like old glass that distorts the world. I want some old glass in my house when I grow up, it'd be really cool in the glass around a front door.
The mint was from my garden, I could host a tea party!
Without further adu, here's the recipe. It's from Wegman's Menu magazine. They left out the part that says to bake the crust, but since it had egg, I knew something had to happen, I put that part in.

Lemon Bars (makes 24)

Sable Cookie Crust
12 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Granulated sugar
3/8 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
3/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 flour

Add butter, sugar, and salt to mixing blw. Cream on low until combined and lightened, scraping bowl and paddle as needed. Add yolk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Stop mixer. Add flour and mix on low until combined. Press dough evenly into a layer in baking pan. Cook at 350 until lightly brown on edges. Refrigerate 1 hour. After dough has chilled 30 minutes, continue with recipe.

Lemon Cream
1 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatine
4 tsp water
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Sprinkle gelatine over water in small bowl. Set aside. Stir together eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in top of double boiler. Heat to 170 degrees on medium, stirring often. Stir in softened gelatine. Remove pan from stovetop; let mixture cool to 130 degrees. Place lemon cream mixture into food processor bowl (or in a blender). Add butter through feed tube as processor runs. Pour lemon cream mixture over cookie base.

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I wonder how it would be to put lemon extract instead)
1/2 cup flour

Add butter, shortening, and sugar to food processor bowl. Cream on low until combined and lightened. Add honey, salt and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. (f you don't have a food processor, at this point use a fork or biscuit mixing thing to create crumble top) Stop processor, add flour through feed tube. Pulse until pea-size crumbles form. Spread evenly on separate baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until brown. Let cool. Break apart if necessary. Sprinkle crumble evenly on top.

Cover; chill approx 3 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into 24 pieces (I use a pizza cutter, it works great.)

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