28 October 2013

Lush Lemon Bars

Eve 27/10/13

There is a first time for everything, isn't there?
Shamefully, today was the first day I have ever tackled making something with pumpkin.... But what did I do? I made some savoury pumpkin muffins, they looked pretty and edible, Oh... But they weren't. Still pretty but the insides were gelatinous and gooey. Not the best first experience... 
While still in the kitchen, two little lemons sat alone in the fruit bowl, looking quite lonely so I decided it was lemon time!



So smooth, creamy, velvety and luscious, every lemon lovers dream come true. These bars is so fresh and zingy to the contrasting crisp, biscuity base, you could eat 2 or 3 of these without feeling weighed down.

So, these lemon bars are very simple to make but the key is to pick bright, lemony smelling lemons so the bars have an intense flavour.  You just know their going to be good.



So... This is my 24th post and I have only 1 (kinda) savoury one... I should really start to write some more savoury recipes. 

You can't live on sugar but boy, I wish you could.

Anyway, These bars, even though sweet, have quite a lot of lemon juice in them, 80mls. Enough to have a little bit of sharpness and a lot of flavour. 



As well as these bars being buttery and sweet, there healthy! Secret trick, reducing the sugar quite a bit just a bit can save a lot! Referring back to our old friend, Ina Garten, with 675g of sugar in the filling alone for only 20 bars, wow... Yum but scary, a bit...

Ok, so first you prepare your base. Butter (not that much) and sugar ( a small amount) is beaten together just enough to combine well. Don't over beat as we don't really want air in the base as the base is like a crumbly shortbread. Add the flour and get your hands in there. Mix in the flour with your hands until fine like breadcrumbs. Tip into a tin, squish down and bake. Don't be worried about the base consistency, it is REALLY crumbly. Just press really well into the tin and you'll be fine.



Once the base is baked, make the filling. The filling is like a lemon curd but baked. Beat the eggs until nice and foamy, add the rest of the ingredients. I said they were simple, didn't I? Just bake!



Chill in the fridge, slice, dust with icing sugar and serve!




Lemon Bars
Posted by Eve
Makes 12
Ingredients

For the base
  • 50g Caster sugar
  • 40g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 120g Plain flour
For the topping
  • 3 Eggs
  • 165g Caster sugar 
  • Zest of 2 large lemon
  • 90ml Fresh lemon juice - for me, that was two lemons
  • 20g Self-raising flour
  • Tiny bit of salt
  • Icing sugar, to finish
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180c/ 170c fan/ gas 4 and line a 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. Make the base by beating the sugar and butter until well mixed and combined. Add the flour and using your hands, mix and crumble the mixture together until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. 
  3. Press well into the tin and level. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool completely.
  4. For the topping, beat the eggs in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the whisk, a bowl with a hand-held mixer or a bowl with a whisk until lightly foamy. 
  5. Add the sugar and fold in the rest of the ingredients until well-blended. Pour mixture over the partly baked base and tap the base of the tin on the work surface to get rid of air bubbles. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set. Cool completely and chilling in the fridge for a further 10 minutes before cutting into 12 equal bars.
  6. Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.

Enjoy!


Keep the bars in an air-tight container separated with parchment. They will keep for a maximum of 4-5 days.




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