Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Lemon Meringue" Bars

I made Ina Garten's Lemon Bars for our Dgroup the other night. They are so yummy! One of the girls in the group, Katie, said they reminded her of lemon meringue pie in a bar. She is totally right. There is something about the crust that forms on the top that is very similar. You should definitely try these. The shortbread crust gives them exactly the right thickness of crust and gives the lemon layer wonderful stability. You will love doubt! Tip: Make sure to grease your pan. Ina says not to since there is already so much butter in the crust. However, mine stuck to the pan in a few places. Also, if you don't want to buy extra large eggs just use 7 eggs instead of 6. You will want to make these in advance so they have time to cool and set. The real lemons and lemon zest is KEY to this recipe. Don't cheat and use imitation lemon juice. They will not be the same! I am guessing you could substitute lime juice and zest in this recipe as well and they would be wonderful. I love limes! I will try this one day and let you know how they turn out.

Ina Garten's Lemon Bars
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 (or 7 large eggs)
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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 (greased) baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill for 15 minutes.

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 (I did this in my stand mixer with the whisk attachment so that there were no flour lumps. You can also use a hand mixer). Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles or squares and dust with confectioners' sugar.


carlyn said...

i definitely want to try these with lime and see if they are like key lime pie!!

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