Friday, June 12, 2009

Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars. We are definitely lemon lovers. This is why we like our lemon bars to be lemony. Maya has declared that they are her favorite dessert. She had her first one at the Christian's 4th of July BBQ and has been passionate about them ever since. The mere mention of them sets her heart a twitter.

There are good lemon bars and bad ones. This is a bad one:
and this is a good one. Notice that the bad one is flat. It is probably chewy. It probably has a crust equal in size to the lemon part or even more crust than lemon. A good lemon bar will have more lemon filling than crust. The crust should only be there to hold the lemon filling, to support it. The filling should not be translucent, but almost a little creamy. This is good. This is from Ina Garten's collection. That woman knows her stuff.

For the crust:

nocoupons1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:nocoupons

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

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. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet as evenly as possible. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

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