Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lemon Bars for Ace

With all the lemons from my brother in law's tree, we had a lot of lemon options come open. I think it has been over 5 years since I really made lemon bars. My sons Little Man and Face didn't remember the bars at all. I mentioned to my husband Ace that I may make some. He went bonkers. I had a square. Ace went totally insane. Within an hour he had eaten almost the entire pan...mostly standing up in the kitchen counter over the pan itself. I haven't seen such a blatant display of total food carnage since Chocolate chip cookies of love. He actually snorted once...and had powdered sugar on his shirt and nose. I wish I had a picture of him with those sugared white knuckles... twitching. Had I not been so flattered, I would have been appalled. It wasn't pretty. So why am I smiling?! I love seeing my food devoured. It means I did a good job. Thankfully I had put some aside for a visit to a dear friend's farm. It just doesn't seem very neighborly to make lemon bars and not bring some when one comes visitin'. Right? At any rate...

Here's the EVIL recipe. It is well worth making. Most lemon squares are far too sweet and none too lemony. These are quite the reverse. Finally, a crisp crusted lemon square with a vibrantly bright lemon flavor. I adapted a recipe from Cooks Illustrated using more zest and a larger pan.

Lemon Squares
adapted from Cooks Illustrated . com
Makes 2 dozen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Pinch table salt
1 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (3 sticks), cut into pieces

8 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
1/4 cup grated lemon zest plus 1 1/3 cup juice from 8 lemons
1/4 cup unsalted butter , cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
Confectioners' sugar

1. For the crust: Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor 2 to 3 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal (some pea-sized pieces of butter will remain) and will stick together if squeezed into ball, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Sprinkle dough into a 9 by 13 inch bar pan and press in even layer. Bake until light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. For the filling: While crust is cooling, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt together in saucepan. Add zest and juice and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and pudding-like, 8 to 10 minutes. Press through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Stir in butter and cream.

4. Pour filling over crust and tilt to spread evenly. Bake until filling is set, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour before cutting. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. (Squares will keep in airtight container in refrigerator for 3 days. Redust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.)

There you go. Don't leave your husband alone with them...especially late at night with a gallon of milk.
Heck, don't leave me alone with them and a gallon of milk!

1 comment:

J. P. said...

I think this just may be the recipe I was looking for. It never occurred to me to find a recipe where the lemon was cooked first. My main complaint about lemon bars is that the filling is never thick enough, this ought to do the trick!-Lisa