Tuesday, January 22, 2013

(Meyer) Lemon Bars

I happened to find this recipe after I fell in love with photo. I saw the photograph first and with a few google tricks I got the recipe from Treats. However, when I read the ingredients, I had a feeling that the taste of so many egg yolks used for the filling would ruin the overall lemon flavour of these great bars. To prevent such a catastrophic effect, reduce the number of egg yolks to 4, use only 1 egg and add more heavy cream (around 200 ml). You can even add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Slice nice even squares with a silky smooth texture and serve with black tea. It's such a wonderful evening treat on a rainy evening in Sarajevo. Don't worry if you can't find Meyer lemons around, use any lemons nearby. They would work.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the finished bars
pinch of salt
8 Tbls unsalted butter, still cool and cut into 8 pieces

7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup + 2 Tbls sugar
2/3 cup meyer lemon juice (from about 4-5 medium lemons)
finely grated zest from the lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tbls unsalted butter, cut in to 4 pieces
3 Tbls heavy cream


For the crust
1. Cover a 9-inch square cake pan with two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, perpendicular to each other.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Put the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly, about 2 seconds. Add the butter pieces and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second pulses. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

For the filling

1. In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and whole eggs until combined. Add the sugar, meyer lemon juice, zest and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds.  
2. Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about 6 minutes.
3. Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh steel strainer set over a medium bowl.  Stir in the heavy cream and then pour the curd into the warm crust.
4. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, about 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.  Remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.  
5. Cut into 2 inch squares, wiping the knife blade clean between cuts as necessary. Sieve powdered sugar over the bars, if you'd like.

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