Monday, May 9, 2011

I don't want to hear "I don't really like lemon" out of you

This is my favorite lemon bar recipe. It has never served me wrong. I have seen batches of this disappear before my very eyes. And though I love me some BFC, I can't just follow a recipe to the letter. Since I love limes, I subbed in lime juice for some of the lemon. And it RULES.

The Lemon Bars
Slightly adapted from the Barefoot Contessa -- it's pretty much her recipe though...

[not pictured because they never last long enough for pictures]

For the crust:

* 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 cups flour
* 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

* 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
* 3 cups granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons... and maybe some limes)
* 3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
* 1 cup flour
* Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Note: If you use lime zest along with the lemon, it will be tasty BUT there will be little dark-ish flecks in your lovely lemon filling, which isn't quite as pretty. But if you love limes like I do, it may be worth it to just not be so freaking superficial.


For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough into a greased 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan (with high sides), and press the bits of dough into a solid layer using your hands, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill dough and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Once oven is hot and dough is cold, bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack (or upside-down muffin tin, like I use). Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest, lemon juice, lime juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. (Trick: If there is lemon goo touching the edge of the pan above the crust, it may behoove you to run a knife around the inner edge of the pan after it cooks, to keep the most-cooked part of the sugary filling from fusing itself to the pan.) Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles (or squares or rectangles) and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Makes as many as you want it to make. (What, it's true. It can be, like, 60 tiny li'l squares or one massive bar to rule them all... though I can't recommend that unless you're on death row or something.)

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