Thursday, January 26, 2012

Feeding Friendship: Ultimate Lemon Bars

Another evil-cackle-inspring dish!

This round of Feeding Friendship involved Winter Citrus!

After a bit of searching and thinking, all of a sudden I had a thought: Lemon Bars!

And then I couldn't stop thinking about Lemon Bars.....

I (re)discovered the Epicurious app the other night on the couch while I had one arm weighed down by a cat and my legs were propped up on a sleeping husband. (What else can one do besides change the channel or play with one's phone?) I like this app because it has reviews. A lot of the recipe blogs I follow have comments sections that are chalk full of "This sounds great!" and "Can't wait to try it!" But Epicurious has actual reviews from people who have made it. This recipe for Lemon Bars had a rating of 4 "forks"(out of 4) and excellent reviews.

Boy were they right.

Here's how ya do it:

Shortbread Base
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour (dip and sweep method) 

Lemon Curd Topping

  • 4 large egg yolks 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 3 fluid ounces (use a liquid measuring cup) lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 2 1/2 large lemons) 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (finely grated) 
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting 

For the Shortbread Base:
1) Preheat the oven to 325

2) Combine the powdered and granulated sugars in a medium bow. Either with an electronic mixer, a food processor or by hand, cut the butter into the sugar mixture.

3) Mix in the flour until a nice dough has formed.

4) Press the dough into a foil-lined 8x8 metal baking pan and poke holes in it with a fork.

5) Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the top is pale golden (do not brown). When removing the shortbread from the oven, lower the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees.

For the Lemon Curd Topping:
1) In a saucepan, beat the eggs and sugar until well-blended. Stir in lemon juice, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 6 minutes, until thickened and resembling hollandaise sauce, which thickly coats a wooden spoon but is still liquid enough to pour. (A candy thermometer will read 196°F.) 
2) Pour the lemon/egg mixture into a medium bowl. Mix in the lemon zest.
3) Pour on to shortbread base.
4) Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Then let the lemon bars cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5) Remove the lemon bars from the pan using the foil. Carefully separate the foil from the curd. Cut into whatever size you see fit (Fourths? Hey I'm not here to judge...) Using a sifter, sprinkle powdered sugar onto lemon bars. 

6) Attempt not to eat them all in one day! GOOD LUCK! 

****Special thanks to Ellie for lending me her camera and Mike for taking action shots!****

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