Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sugary Lemon

The weather has been gorgeous this week (except for the torrential downpour on Wednesday) and springlike, so I wanted to make something refreshing and "springy." I know I said I was going to stop making so many sweets in my last post, but I just couldn't resist making this recipe.  Thus, lemon bars.  And since they have "lemon" in them, I choose to believe that they are healthier than some alternatives.  I have a recipe that was given to me by a family friend and it is my absolute favorite.  Tangy and sweet filling with a delicious bottom crust.

(Also, notice the new plates that I got on sale at Nordstrom Rack. Love them.)
For the crust, the recipe says to blend the butter, flour, and powdered sugar together with a pastry cutter. I do not have a pastry cutter, therefore, I used a metal whisk and just "mashed" it up and down.  Truth be told, I say it works just the same. Then again, I've never used a pastry cutter.  :)
I've tasted many a lemon bar and these are always my favorite.  There's a perfect proportion of filling to crust and dusted with powdered sugar.  They also freeze really well. Cut them into individual squares, wrap them in saran wrap, then put them in a big ziploc in the freezer and it works great.  Here's the recipe if you would like to try them!

Lemon Bars

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 oz. cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used salted)

6 large eggs
3 cups sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Plus 3 tbsp powdered sugar for sprinkling on top.
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend ingredients for crust with pastry cutter. Press into a 9x13 dish. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Mix eggs and sugar and flour. Add lemon juice. Pour immediately over cooled crust. Bake until set 40-50 minutes. Let cool and then chill before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar.

My oven is finicky, so I had to bake mine for 55 minutes.  Also, I didn't used "fresh" squeezed lemon juice, I just had a cheap bottle of it that I used.  I think it would make the flavors stand-out pop even more if you added some fresh lemon zest to the filling.  Hope you enjoy!

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