Friday, November 5, 2010

When life gives you lemons..

As I was cleaning our fridge just before Scott's parents arrival, I found 5 lemons that were forgotten in the refrigerator shelf. I thought of making a lemon tart or lemon chicken but I remember while browsing through an Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Cookbook that there was a recipe of Lemon Bars. The image of bright yellow goodness just reminds you of a happy day filled with bright sunshine.I think it was those lemon bars that wanted me to buy the recipe book but I ended up asking Scott to order it online. Having a poor memory, I forgot about the book till Scott's mum asked me if I wanted Craig, Scott's brother to bring me a book from the UK. I then turned to Scott asking if he ordered my wish list already, to which he reacted with a pained look on his face that it was supposed to be my Christmas surprise..bless his sweetness!!

Now, back to those 5 lemons on the fridge..because when life gives you lemons--you make lemon bars and here's how:

Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Bars

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)
  • 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. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. 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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