Archive for June, 2010

June 29, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

I think it just makes the stomach grow hungrier.

Guys, my poor blog has been neglected. And so have the tummies of all my dear family and friends. But no more. I am home, armed with a kitchen and a whole lot of butter. And what’s better? Never again will I go back to the dorms, those lonely places with nary an oven in sight. I will have my own apartment and kitchen and our little adventures here can continue right along.

Enough talking. Let’s get down to the sugar. First up? A first indeed, for me – lemon bars, made for one of my greatest teachers in the kitchen: my step-dad Tom.

Now there once was a day where you couldn’t pay me to eat a lemon bar. Then one day I actually tried one and I kind of liked them! And the more I eat them, the more I like them. Kind of love them in fact. So I decided I was already going to play expert and not just use any lemon bar recipe. I had to have the perfect one.

This one, from albineberry, came pretty darn close. I couldn’t find the right size pan, so my proportions may have been a little off (I used a skillet), but I would have liked to have just a teeeensy bit higher ratio of lemon curd to crust. And maybe cut down on the sugar in the lemon curd a little bit so that the tartness of the lemon would really sing. But all in all? These were pretty darn fabulous.

Friends, here is to a sweet, sweet, summer:

Lemon Bars
adapted from albineberry
(makes one 8-inch square pan)

Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Filling:
2 large eggs
1 cup superfine or bakers’ sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest*
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice*

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

To make crust:
Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the mixture is pebbly. Press evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 18-20 minutes. Set aside crust.

To make filling:
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in lemon zest and juice until well combined. Pour over crust (it’s okay if crust is still hot). Bake until filling is just set, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

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