What to do with a paper bag full of lemons….I was faced with this dilemma at work this week when one of my coworkers gave me a bag of lemons that they had picked from their lemon tree which had been over-producing to an excessive extent. Although I do miss Oregon very much, one of my favorite things about living in LA is the abundance of fresh citrus grown “ornamentally” all over the city. Everything from blood oranges to kumquats to limes to these tasty lemons, that I then get to turn into lemon bars. So much fruit just hanging on trees near the sidewalk…it’s pretty magical stuff (especially when you’re on a budget like myself!)Since lemons are used frequently in Greek cooking, I knew I would be able to put them to some sort of use.
I decided to make the two recipes seen here on the blog, one for my Mom’s tasty Lemon Potato Chicken and the other for a delightfully American dessert known as lemon bars. The first published recipe of a lemon bar was by good ol’ Betty Crocker in the 1960’s, and their popularity has grown exponentially since then.For these lemon bars I infused two different recipes I’d used before into one, basically just picking what I liked most from each.
They turned out lovely, especially with the sprinkled powdered sugar on top. They also go really well with a nice cup of Princess Earl Grey, which is basically Earl Grey tea infused with rose petals…elegant AND delicious. I think next time around I might play with adding a little rosewater to the lemon filling and seeing how that plays out… 🙂
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 Eggs room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting
- Grease a 9 x 13 greased baking pan that's at least 2 inches deep and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper (you can just put one big sheet in there and let an extra few inches hang off the sides. Set it aside.
- Grate your lemons to gather the zest, and then juice them. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the crust, stir together flour, salt and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl. Set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered and granulated sugars and mix until smooth. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture to form a thick pastey dough. Press onto the bottom of the baking pan in an even layer to form the crust. Place the pan in the oven and bake until *very* lightly golden around the edges, about 20 minutes.
While the crust is baking, you can prepare the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour and mix until it is *just* combined.
Pour the filling into the pan over the baked crust and bake again until the edges are set but the middle is a little jiggly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool completely at room temperature before grabbing the parchment paper overhang and lifting the entire block out of the pan and onto a clean surface. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, then dust with the powdered sugar, cut into bars, and serve.
THIS POST WAS UPDATED ON 3/9/20. YOU CAN SEE THE ORIGINAL IMAGE BELOW!
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