Meyer Lemon Bars

Desserts | March 24, 2015 | By

Lemon Bar 1A few weeks ago I attended a “Dinner for 12 Strangers,” a UCLA alumni tradition. It’s exactly what it sounds like; alum in various cities host a dinner at their house for 12 strangers, all of whom share UCLA as their alma mater. It’s always an amazing experience and a way to meet and network with highly motivated and interesting individuals. This was a special one for me because it was my first on the East Coast, and the group very much enjoyed reminiscing about Westwood and discussing how much we miss SoCal weather and Korean Barbeque. Turns out I am not alone in my #eastcoaststruggles.

Our Dinner for 12 Strangers was potluck-style, and I volunteered to bring a dessert (of course). I wanted to make something seasonal, but I find winter a little hard for seasonal desserts since fruit is fairly limited. I settled on Meyer lemons as my main ingredient and went with a classic lemon bar. One of my main deciding factors was that I needed something easily transportable taking public transportation all the way to the UWS; these worked out well in that regard.

I had actually never made lemon bars before, but I pretty much love everything lemon-flavored so there’s no going wrong here. They turned out fabulous and I received quite a few compliments at my D-12 dinner.

Bon Appétit!

Lemon BarMeyer Lemon Bars (recipe from Treats)

Crust:

1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour

1/2 Cup powdered sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the finished bars

A pinch of salt

8 Tbsp unsalted butter, still cool and cut into 8 pieces

Filling:

7 large egg yolks

2 large eggs

1 Cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

2/3 Cup meyer lemon juice (from about 4-5 medium lemons)

Finely grated zest from the lemons

1/2 Tsp salt

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut in to 4 pieces

3 Tbsp heavy cream
Directions:
Take a 9″ x 13″ pan and cover in two sheets of aluminum foil, perpendicular to one another. Spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
Process flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor for several seconds. Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing several times after adding each piece. Process by pulsing until the mixture reaches a course meal consistency. Place the mixture into the pan and press down with your fingers into the the pan until there is an even layer of crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
While crust is cooling, make the lemon filling. In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs egg yolks until combined. Add the sugar, meyer lemon juice, zest and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds.  Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency, about 6 minutes.
Immediately pour the lemon filling through a fine-mesh steel strainer set over a medium bowl.  Stir in the heavy cream and then pour the curd into the warm crust. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the filling is shiny and opaque.  Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.  Remove the bars from the pan with the aluminum foil and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into squares, wiping the knife blade clean between cuts as necessary.  Sift powdered sugar over the bars.

Lemon Bar 2

Lemon Bar 3

Lemon Bar 4

Lemon Bar 5

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