Saturday, September 5, 2009

I don't make lemonade - I make lemon BARS

A Lemon Bar Recipe

After deliberating on what scrumptious confection to make yesterday, I decided to end the summer with the most refreshing of baked goods - the lemon bar. Drowning in tartness and flecked with powdered sugar, the lemon bar is the quintessential summer treat to hot days and steamy nights (apart from a great beer). Here is my favorite lemon bar recipe; I hope it'll become yours too.

Lemon Buttermilk Bars

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup, plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar or baker's sugar
2/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
zest and juice of two lemons
1/2 cup buttermilk
powdered sugar for dusting

*makes 8 bars*

1. Mix the dough and bake the crust.
With your rack in the middle of your oven, preheat the sucker to 350 degrees, then butter the entire inside of your 8 by 8 inch baking pan. Set it aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add the 2/3 cup flour and the salt and mix on low speed now just until blended (too much and you'll get a manhole cover for a crust - think light and fluffy). Spoon the dough into the pan and press evenly into the bottom and up 1/2 inch all the way around. Bake until crust is golden, 15-18 minutes.

2. Make the filling.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl with an electric mixer (I had to wash the first bowl and use the same Kitchen Aid standing mixer), beat the eggs on medium speed and then add the remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar until blended. Add your last 2 tablespoons flour, lemon zest and juice, and the buttermilk and beat until smooth. Pour filling evenly over the baked crust. **it will look like lemon soup - this is NORMAL**

3. Bake the filling.
Bake until the top of the filling is set and barely browned at the edges, 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 8 bars, dust with powdered sugar shaken through a sieve, and serve. You can also drizzle freshly pureed raspberries with sugar on top as well... if you're into that kind of thing.

Happy eating,

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