Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lemon Bars

We forgot to take a picture of these before they were gobbled up at dinner with our friends, Jesse & Amy.  These are the perfect amount of sweet and tart with a hint of saltiness in the crust.

From the ATK cookbook:


How to make it

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350. Line a 9" square baking pan with two pieces of aluminum foil at right angles (to form a sort of sling). Lightly coat foil with vegetable oil.
  • Mix together flour, confectioners sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter (or food processor) incorporate 8 tbsp. of the butter until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal.
  • Sprinkle the mixture inot the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer. Bake until the crust starts to brown slightly, about 20 minutes.
  • While crust is baking, wisk together egg yolks and whole eggs in a medium non-reactive saucepan.
  • Whisk in granulated sugar until combined, then whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  • Add remaining 4 tbsp of butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and registers 170 degrees (F) on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture immediately into a non-reactive bowl and stir in cream. Pour the warm curd over the hot crust. Bake until the filing is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before removing from the pan using foil and cutting into squares.
  • Dust with confectioners sugar just before serving.
  • Note: it is important to pour the warm curd over the hot crust when making these intensely flavored bars. This ensures that the filling cooks through evenly. You will need about four lemons for zest and juice.