Lemon BarsPosted: May 21, 2012
So it’s been a while. I changed schools this past semester and my new dorm’s kitchen was on the basement level with my room on the third floor. My tendency to forget things while running back and forth to the kitchen highly hindered my ability to bake. As in, I didn’t bake for the entire semester. I made fudge once. But that just required the stove top that was in the lounge and the fridge in my room.
Now I’m back at home! This means i have access to the Kitchen Aid and a large stove and wide spice collection and lots of space and everything at my fingertips. Oh how I love being home. I’ve already made my chocolate cupcakes and was just itching to make something else. My mom is having a friend over for wine later so something not quite so bready sounded like a good idea. I looked through my recipes (I think I have 500 something bookmarked) and was between two Smitten Kitchen citrus choices; Deb’s keylime meltaways and her lemon bars. Obviously, if you’ve read the title, I chose the lemon bars.
I don’t know what was up with the lemons today but I could not get any juice out of them. I went through 5 lemons and still only had about 2/3 cup of juice. I tried microwaving them and everything. I have no idea what happened. Oh well the bars are delicious.
Straight from Smitten Kitchen
These are bold and tart lemon bars, ones I feel are best in smaller doses than Ina Garten suggests. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe–increased the salt in the crust, reduced the sugar in the lemon filling and an encouragement to grease your pan, as mine were all but cemented into their non-stick pan. For those of you who like the 1:1 crust to lemon layer ratio, use the second option.
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the lemon layer:
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 27-32, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.