Sunday, 2 March 2014

Classic Lemon Bars

I came across this recipe on the blog 'Joy the Baker' one day, and suddenly really wanted to make it. They were lemon bars, and they looked amazing. I mean, who doesn't want lemon things. Lemon, lemon, lemon.

I then found the recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I looked at both recipes, and realised they are practically the same, except  one was in cups, and the other was in grams. My mum bought the British Smitten Kitchen cookbook, so I ended up making the one from Smitten Kitchen.

In this recipe you use the whole lemon. Bizarre right! But it gives it a nice tangy taste.

Joy the Baker's recipe : Classic Lemon Bars

And here is the recipe I used ( from Lemon Bars or Smitten Kitchen Cookbook )

Recipe:

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

125g plain flour

65g sugar

1/4 teaspoon table salt

115g unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus extra for greasing the tin.

Filling:

1 small to medium sized lemon (about 130g, or about 7.5 cm long)

265g sugar

115g unsalted butter, cut into chunks

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons cornflour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4. Cut two 30cm lengths of parchment paper, and trim each to fit the bottom of a 20 cm x 20 cm square baking tin. Press the first sheet into the bottom  and up the sides in one direction, then use the second sheet to line the rest of the pan, running it perpendicular to the first sheet. Lightly butter exposed parts of parchment or coat them with a non-stick cooking spray. Set the tin aside.

The crust:
Blend the flour, sugar and salt together in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is powdery, but if firmly pinched, will hold the pinched shape. Turn the dough crumbs into the prepared baking tin and press the dough evenly across the bottom and about 1cm 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. Leave the oven on.

Make your filling:
Cut your lemon in half, and here's where I need us all to be briefly, quite fussy. Is the white part of the skin especially thick? If the widest part of the white is 0.5cm thick or less, continue to the next step; your lemon is good to go.If any part of it is thicker than 0.5cm, however, I find it safest to remove the skin from half the lemon or the bitterness of the pith can overwhelm the bars. To remove the skin, place the half lemon cut-side-down on the cutting board and remove the skin and pith from the entire half in downward cuts, and discard it. The second half, even if just as thick, can still be used.

Cut your lemon halves into thin rings and discard any seeds. Toss the lemon rounds-lemon, flesh, and peel-in the bowl of your food processor, add the sugar, and run the machine until the lemon is thoroughly puréed, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and again run the machine until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the work bowl if needed. Add the eggs, cornflour, and salt and pulse the machine in short bursts until the mixture is evenly combined.

Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is set. You can test this by bumping the pan a little; it should only jiggle slightly. In my oven, I find that the point at which the filling is set is also when the lemon bars start to get very light brown on top.

Let the tin cool completely on rack or in the fridge. Gently cut around the outside of the parchment paper to make sure no sides have stuck, then gently use the parchment 'sling' to transfer bars from tin to cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.


I am sorry that this is late. I forgot to post it. Please forgive me.

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