Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lemon Bars (R3A2 Version)

LEMON BARS from Totally Lemons Cookbook

Bring to room temp
     1/2 c (1 stick) butter, cut into 1T pieces
     3 eggs
See this Note if you are concerned about room temperature butter or eggs. Also, if you forget to do this step, or still prefer not to bring these things to room temperature, that's OK. But you should still pre-soften the butter by microwaving it for 30 seconds at power level 4 (medium-low).

Grease 8" sq. pan and preheat oven to 350.

Grate zest from 1-2 lemons to make
     1 T + at least another 1/2 tsp grated zest, divided

CRUST: In large bowl, combine
     1 1/4 c flour
     1/4 c confectioner's sugar
Add in
     1/2 tsp (or more) of that ZEST
     that BUTTER
and cut in the butter using two knives crosswise (or your fingertips) until butter is in small bits, none bigger than a pea, and mixture holds shape when pressed. This takes several minutes. Press flour mixture evenly into pan.

Bake 20 minutes. Crust should be golden along edges and may pull away from pan a bit. Cool on rack 5 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 325.

THE LEMON LAYER: While the crust is baking, juice
     ~2-3 lemons (the one(s) used for zest are fine for juicing)
to make 1/2 c. (I used 2 Eurekas and one Meyer. The bars were tart and delicious.)

In a large bowl, lightly whisk
     those EGGS
Then add in and whisk some more
     that LEMON JUICE
     1 T of that ZEST
The original recipe says add all the dry ingredients to the big bowl. I think it will be easier (and result in fewer or no clumps that you have to break up by pushing them against the side of the bowl with the back of the spoon), first to mix in a small bowl
     1/2 tsp baking powder
     2 T flour
and then to stir in a spoonful of the egg-lemon mixture to make a paste. Thin the paste with a little more egg-lemon and then stir the thinned paste into the egg-lemon mixture.

Pour over cooled crust. Back at 325 for 25 minutes. Original recipe says top center should be set when pressed, but it is very hot and I don't want to try pressing it, even wearing an oven mitt. The edges were a little cracked at 25 minutes, and I figured that meant it was ready.

Cool on rack. Dust top, by pushing through a tea strainer,
     ~ 1/2 tsp confectioner's sugar

Cut into ~20 bars (they say 20 squares but 20 is not a square number) and, if you have the time before serving, refrigerate to set the lemon layer and because the bars taste good cold.
rjm 1st made and typed 2015.0717-19