Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

From December through early spring, Meyer lemons are in season. You may have seen them in the store and wondered what was so special about them or why the cost so much more than a normal lemon. One sniff of the outside would have maybe clued you in. They have an intriguing and sweet aroma and they aren't nearly as sour as a normal lemon. Sometimes it can be described as a cross between a lemon and a tangerine. If you have a chance, pick some up and try them out. Below is a great recipe to try out Meyer lemons. These lemon bars are all lemon and it would be a great way to experience the wonderful and unique flavor Meyer lemons have. The peel is also wonderful candied. I have given a range for the sugar below, if using Meyer lemons, they tend to be sweeter so use less sugar, or if you like really tart lemon desserts.

Lemon Bars (makes 24 small bars)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can substitute AP flour)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp salt
10 TBS cold butter (5 oz) chopped into small pieces

Pre heat the oven 350 degrees F. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until it's crumbly and starting to form larger crumbles (past the fine crumbly stage, so that the mixture is starting to stick together). Pat into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Pat the crust so that it extends at least 1/2 way up the sides of the pan and then freeze until very cold and bake for 20-30 minutes until no longer doughy.

5 eggs
1 - 2 cups sugar*
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup whole milk (can also use half & half or even heavy cream)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 TBS of zest (if you have time pulse this in a food processor with the sugar for better flavor)

While the crust is baking, put eggs and sugar (along with the zest if it wasn't already mixed into the sugar) into a bowl. Whisk to combine and add the flour, whisk to mix in, then add the milk, whisk a little more and finally add the lemon juice in stages, whisking to combine between each addition. You want to try not to incorporate too much air, but whisk just to mix everything together. Once the crust comes out of the oven you can pour the filling over and put back into the oven and bake it until the batter no longer ripples when the pan is tapped. It should shake as one, like jello. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. Make sure to not overcook it, as the bars will loose it's creamy texture. Let it cool completely, even briefly refrigerate or freeze, before cutting. The colder the bars are, the easier it will be to handle. These freeze well as long as they are well wrapped.

*For Meyer lemons I would use 1 cup of sugar, for a tart lemon bar use 1 1/2 cups or for something on the sweeter side, use the full 2 cups.


Melita said...

I love Meyer lemons, definitely prefer them in most recipes! Bars look so good!

sheila @ Elements said...

oh yum!!!! My mouth is watering! :)