Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 12: Whole Lemon Bars

I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to see the city of lights, Paris, already twice in my 20-year life. If you haven't been before, you really must put it at the top of your list. There's something very dreamy about Paris, as if parisians live in some alternate perfect little fantasy world where it's perfectly acceptable to eat Pain-au-chocolat for breakfast and spend your days exploring the endless halls of the Louvre. Because that is certainly what I would be doing if I were a parisienne

David Lebovitz is an american chef and author who currently lives in the dreamy city and blogs on his life and cooking adventures there. His posts often come with recipes attached and always with the most enticing photographs that make me want to put down whatever I am doing and preset my oven. 

These lemon bars caught my attention by the fact that they use the entire lemon, including the almost always excluded bitter pith. They were one of the easiest things I have made recently and the recipe below is slightly adapted from the original as I think they were a little heavy on the crust:filling ratio. My kitchen smelled of buttery pastry and lemonade. Divine. . . like the city where they were first made.

Whole Lemon Bars
Yield: 18 bars

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon Filling
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (I didn't measure and just juiced half a lemon)
  • 3 large eggs  (apparently should be at room temperature, but who has time for that?)
  • 4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • ~1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF .
  2. Flip over an 8" square pan and wrap it in aluminum foil, flip the pan back over and place your formed foil so that it lines the pan. Grease the sides of the pan (I didn't do this and had to be really careful as the lemon filling was sticking afterwards)
  3. Mix all crust ingredients until homogeneous.
  4. Press the crust dough into the bottom of the lined pan and smooth out as well as possible.
  5. Bake the crust until it's golden-brown (~25 minutes)
  6. Cut a bit off each end of the lemon and cut into chunks, removing any seeds
  7. Place lemon chunks with sugar and lemon juice and blend until almost smooth (I used my magic bullet. but any blender or food processor should do). Add the eggs, corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons  melted butter, and blend.
  8. Once the crust is ready, reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF (Leaving the oven door for a few minutes helps it cool down quicker). Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan by lifting out the foil. Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar.


Sydney Jones said...

These look and sound delicious :)

Shore Girl said...

I just made these last week -- my recipes a little different than this, but they look the same.

Jenn said...

Lemon Bars sound so good right now! I like how thick your lemon top is.

ValleyWriter said...

Ooh - these look so yummy! And I love that they use the whole lemon!

Anonymous said...

these look great! I too love you've used the whole Lemon!


Amy said...

These whole lemon bar looks absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try some.

I'm hosting the Culinary Smackdown Battle for March--the theme is Cookies. It's open to anyone, anywhere in the world. Would you like to join in for the fun? It doesn' have to be a new post on your blog. You can pick your favorite cookie from your previous post too. All you have to do is link up your cookie creation. I have some great prizes waiting. Hope to see your entry soon!


Lisa said...

Wow, I've never heard of using a whole lemon to make these bars before. I bet it really makes them even better. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.


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