Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Em's Hybrid Lemon Bars

DSC01532 For those who may not know...Em is the lady behind the wonderful blog The Repressed Pastry ChefEm is a huge fan of lemons but others (Jamie) call her obsessed. :) A few weeks ago Em posted this recipe and this recipe. Each one was very good in it's own separate way.  Em claimed that the first recipe's shortbread crust was one of the yummiest and the second recipe's filling was near perfect though not (in her opinion) tart enough.  Leaving a her a comment asking for her opinion on which was the best one to make she suggested the brilliant idea of combining the best of each recipe.  Along with her suggestion she also mentioned cutting back on the sugar in the filling.  Because I, too like my lemon bars tart and tangy I went ahead and cut back on the sugar. I'm very happy to say these bars were terrific!  They'll definitely make you pucker up but in a good way. Not overly so but I did think that the sprinkling of powdered sugar on top complimented it nicely.  Usually I prefer mine with it out.  If you like a milder lemon taste  just follow the recipe and use the full amount of sugar.

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Around the same time I was whipping up these bars so was Jamie.  Please hop over and check out hers.  I love how she always adds sprigs of mint leaves to her dessert giving 'em that little something extra.  Be sure to check out the original recipes at Em's.

Em's Hybrid Lemon Bars

Makes about two dozen 1-1/2 to 2-inch squares

Ingredients

--The Crust--
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar -- plus extra to
decorate finished bars
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (1 1/2 sticks) at
very cool room temperature, cut into
1-inch pieces, plus extra for greasing pan

--Crust Directions--

1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment or wax paper. Dot paper with butter, then lay second sheet crosswise over it. (I used Reynolds nonstick aluminum foil and lightly sprayed it with Pam.)
2. Pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade. Add butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second bursts. (To do this by hand, mix flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl. Freeze butter and grate it on large holes of box grater into flour mixture. Toss butter pieces to coat. Rub pieces between your fingers for a minute, until flour turns pale yellow and coarse.) Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and press firmly with fingers into even, 1/4-inch layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. (I baked mine for less as I noticed it was already golden brown and smelling heavenly after the 15 min mark, so I took it out.)

Ingredients

--Filling--

  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature (I used 6 large eggs) 
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (I only used 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons) (I used 3 regular lemons & 3 Meyer)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 3 regular lemons & 3 Meyer)
  • 1 cup flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

--Filling Directions--

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.  Sprinkle generously with confectioners' sugar and cut.

Note:  I don't know if the filling is normally very "watery" when the recipe is followed (exactly) but mine was.  When I noticed how much I was really worried but it worked out fine. 

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