In Arizona the mild winters and scorching summers produce some pretty amazing citrus. My mom has a lemon tree that grows on the south side of her backyard. It always yields large amounts of fruit and this year is no exception. She graciously shares and this is where I pick my lemons. In my last post I preserved them. They still need to sit at least 3 more weeks in the fridge to finish. I'm currently lining up new recipes to use with them. Any ideas?
For this post I decided upon lemon bars from Deb Perelman's "The Smitten Kitchen" cookbook. I love her quick wit and humor and the stories she tells. This is a great recipe and a snap to make. She suggest Meyer lemons, but the lemons I used were wonderful as well. The intense lemony flavor is both sweet and tart. I finished by sprinkling a fair amount of powdered sugar on the top and cut into squares.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into chunks, plus extra for greasing pan)
1 medium sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1 1/3 cups sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into chunks)
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Place rack in middle of oven. Use a 8 inch square baking pan. Butter, then using 2 lengths of parchment paper running perpendicular to one another line pan, leave sides overhanging.
In food processor slightly blend flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture is powdery, (if firmly pinched, and holds pinched shape) it's ready. Turn the dough crumbs into the prepped baking pan and press dough evenly across the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Should any parts bubble up, gently prick them again with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
For the filling; Cut the lemon in half. Here you are checking to make sure that the white part is no thicker than 1/4 inch thick, if it is trim it off. The bitterness of the pith can be overwhelming. If the whole lemon is like that, trim off the pith on 1 side completely. Let the other side be.
Cut lemon halves into thin rings and discard any seeds. Toss in food processor, along with sugar, and run machine until the lemon is thoroughly pureed, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and again run the machine until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, cornstarch, and salt and pulse the machine in short bursts until the mixture is evenly combined.