09 March 2009

Thinking of Spring with Lemon Bars


Nothing says spring than the scent and tartness of lemon. Although lemonade makes you think of a break from the hot summer days with swarms of mosquitoes, lemon bars are like a ray of sun breaking through the stormy clouds. Even though the gray clouds are still present and the temperatures continue to be cold, I'll take what I can get in the form of edibles.


I made these lemon bars for my brother, although I'm not sure he shares the same sentiments about it that I do. All I know is that he likes lemon bars to be tart with a burst of lemon flavor yet a bit of sweetness, and a crisp, light crust. That's why I chose the recipe for Lemon Squares from an April '04 issue of Everyday Food. Some recipes include milk in the filling, but I figured that would make it more like a creamy lemon pudding instead of an intense lemon curd-like filling. POM Wonderful sent me a case of POM juice that I haven't used yet, so I made a POM syrup and drizzled some on top and marbleized with a skewer before baking. It would have been better had the POM topping been thicker, like a thin jelly, because it pretty much just sank to the bottom and the definition wasn't as pronounced as I would have liked.

So these were a hit, and everyone liked the tartness since most you buy or heavy on the sweet side. The crust was a light, buttery, and crisp shortbread that had a sandy texture that I thought was a nice contrast to the filling. And lthough these pictures aren't very great, the end result was.



Lemon Squares
from Everyday Food, April 2004

For crust:
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup of flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sifting
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For filling:
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350°, with rack in center. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; line pan with two crisscrossed rectangles of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

  2. Make crust: In a food processor, pulse flour with confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into bottom and 3/4 up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

  3. Bake until crust is lightly browned, 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan. Reduce oven heat to 325°.

  4. Meanwhile, make filling: Whisk flour with baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In another medium-sized bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thick. Beat in granulated sugar, lemon juice, and flour mixture. Pour over warm crust. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate about 1 hour.

  5. Using paper overhang as an aid, lift square from pan. Sift remaining tablespoon confectioners' sugar over top. Cut into 16 squares.


10 comments:

  1. Ahhh, what a refreshing treat.

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  2. They look great! I love lemon bars hubby not so much so I dont make them often. Thanks for shareing the recipe!

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  3. Hi Christina! I was wondering about you the other day. This blogging is hard to keep up with, I know. I'm having a difficult keeping track of everyone/everything, etc.

    Anyways, these lemon bars look fantastic! I love the POM syrup. That's a great idea. They're supposed to send me some, and I can't wait!

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  4. love the POM drizzle, perfect addition :)

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  5. That looks delicious, Christina :) I didn't know POM made juice with lemon!

    Thank you for letting me know about my page being funky. Are you on a Mac? If so, what browser are you using?

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  6. Tis' the season. I just made a meyer lemon yogurt cake!

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  7. VeggieGirl - Yes, definitely!

    Danielle - That just means there are more for you. =P

    Em - Heh, and apparently I'm not very good at time management skillz, or probably I'll just admit I didn't feel like baking much.

    Can't wait to see what you make with the POM juice! You always have great ideas.

    TTFN - It makes it livelier, too.

    Ambitious - Oh, no, the POM juice just contains pomegranate, not lemon juice. I think the mistake was pairing two tart flavors together, as it ended up blending instead of being able to taste the individual flavors of the lemon and pom. I'd have had to make the syrup sweeter.

    AnticiPlate - Oh, awesome, can't wait to read that!

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  8. Good recipe, these look fantastic.

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  9. I <3 lemon squares!
    I <3 POM!
    I <3 YOU!

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  10. Well there's not many desserts that I wouldn't eat, but lemon is one of those ingredients that I go crazy for! If I had them sitting in front of me, I would have to leave the room because I would eat every last one.

    I really have to stop reading this blog now.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^

~Christina

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