Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

So my mom is in the big house until the end of the month, so I can go to Stitch & Bitch V2.0 after all. I decided I wanted something bright and spring-like and Lemon Bars came to mind. I have a recipe that I had trouble with last time I made it, so this morning I went to my Go-To Blog for snacks: Cookie Madness, and sure enough she had several recipes to choose from.

I chose this one and made the 9”x13” version (follow the link):

Perfect Lemon Bars
Recipe By : Susan Logozzo, Cook's Illustrated Magazine, May, 1998
Makes about two dozen 1-1/2 to 2-inch squares

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

The Lemon Filling:

4 large eggs -- beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated zest -- (from two large
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice -- (from 3 to 4 large
lemons), strained
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

The lemon filling must be added to a warm crust. The 30-minute chilling and 20-minute baking of the crust should allow plenty of time to prepare the filling. If not, make the filling first and stir to blend just before pouring it into the crust. Any leftover bars can be sealed in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to two days.

1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9” x 13” pan with Release foil.

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.

lemon bar2
3. For the filling: Meanwhile, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in lemon juice, zest, milk, and salt to blend well.

lemon bar1

4. To finish the bars: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling mixture to re-blend; pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes.

lemon bar3

5. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to near room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, and cut into serving-size bars, wiping knife or pizza cutter clean between cuts, as necessary. Sieve confectioners’ sugar over bars, if desired.

lemon bar5

I didn’t press the crust firmly enough; it seemed too powdery. When I took it out of the oven, it had cracked across the bottom. I had lined my pan with Release foil though, and I knew even if the filling seeped thru, it wouldn’t stick. My other pet peeve about this recipe was that it called for EVERY one of my measuring cups except the 1/2 cup. I hate using every kitchen tool in the drawer! So I was a bit skeptical about how “perfect” these would be. I’m happy to report that these are indeed as good as advertised! (I had to trim to fit into a more presentable pan and tasted the trimmings.) (Yeah- now that’s a good excuse!)

1 comment:

Wanda said...

YUMMMMMMM....I made the same new years resolution that I have for over 20 years...if I want cookies or something sweet, I have to BAKE it not BUY it. Have I ever accomplished this goal? Heck no...but maybe this year!