Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lemon Bars

Hobby of the Day: Baking
Continuing on through the Martha Cookbooks T and I decided to bake lemon squares- she was my pastry chef. If you have never had them before, they are "heaven." My opinion of course. If you don't like something tart then they might not be your "cup o tea."

I love them, there's something about them. They aren't overly sweet, perhaps it's that tartness and they have a great yummy buttery bottom.  They are rich and dense.  It's a pretty simple recipe as Martha's recipes go.  I should have picked something harder since I had a helper, but "c'est la vie."

I had all the ingredients except for whole milk and a lot of lemon juice.  I usually always have lemon juice, but I didn't have enough for 3/4. Again keep in mind they are called LEMON squares for a reason.  I didn't use real lemons, I'm sure Martha does, I instead used the cute little lemon shaped bottles from the grocery store. 

One thing that it does require is that you freeze the cookie like bottom before you bake it. I always worry about moving a glass dish in a freezing environment to a hot oven, sometimes disaster occurs.  
Recipe: page 266
for the crust:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen plus 
more for the dish
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

for the filling:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup whole milk
 Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 -inch glass baking dish, a line with parchment
2. Make crust: Grate butter on a cheese grater with large holes; set aside. Whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter; stir with a wooden spoon until combined and mixture looks crumbly

3. Transfer mixture to prepared dish; press evenly onto bottom with your hands. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Bake until slightly golden, 16-18 minutes. Leave oven on.
4. Meanwhile, make filling: Whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and milk. Pour over hot crust.

 Love Kosher salt!
 I used to drink this and now I shudder to think what it would taste like

5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake until filling is set and edges are slightly golden brown, about 18 minutes. Let cool slight on a wire rack. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire race before cutting into 2-inch squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Lemon squares can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 days. 
** I froze them so I could keep them longer. They also taste great with whipped cream if you like that.

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