Sunday, April 08, 2007

Lemon Curd Bars

It’s not feeling very spring like here in the Maritimes. Snow moved in on Thursday night, and it’s been cold, snowy, and lightly icy since. This isn’t usually an area for outdoor egg hunts anyway, but this Easter is a little reminder that we Maritimers can still be smug about our ‘wild weather’ (wink, wink).

So I was looking for a little edible sunshine last night and made lemon bars for the first time. I hear they are quite common in this area- they are talked about a lot, but I rarely get to eat them. I think it’s because they’re consumed at home before they can get offered around.

This is the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, the “Cockaigne” version, meaning it’s the personal family recipe of the Rimbauer-Becker family who edits the Joy of Cooking. An advantage of this recipe is that the curd cooks in the oven, instead of having to stir it on top of the stove and then layer it on, as I have seen in other squares.I was minorly appalled to see it called for 3 cups of sugar, but I just reminded myself there is a whole cup of lemon juice involved. And it does make a lot of squares. And they’re tasty.

In the picture, it looks like there might be confectioner’s sugar on top. It’s actually just a lot of little bubbles that cooked into the top. It looks very pretty, and means I didn’t feel compelled to sprinkle even more sugar on top.

Lemon Curd Bars
1 1/2 C flour
¼ C confectioner’s sugar
12 Tbsp cold butter

Preheat oven to 325F
Line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper (not necessary, but it makes the whole thing easier, and helps to prevent leakage).
Sift together the flour and confectioner’s sugar.
With two knives, pastry blender, or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour, until crumbly.
Press the dough into the pan evenly.
Bake for 20 min or until very lightly golden brown.

6 large eggs
3 C sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
1 C plus 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 8 lemons)
1/C flour

Reduce temperature to 300F.
Whip the eggs with a whisk.
Whisk in the sugar.
Whisk in the zest and lemon juice.
Lightly sift the flour on top of the mixture, whisking it into the egg mixture to prevent lumps.
Pour it on to the baked crust.
Bake for 35 min. or until set.

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