Suggested soundtrack to this post: Lemon Tree, by the Fool’s Garden *
Last post I was talking about my lonely egg yolks. I was always bumping into lemon bar recipes in the American food blogs and cookbooks, but never found the opportunity to make some. In my quest for desserts with yolks, the blog Gas.tron.o.my appeared in a Google search. The recipe asks for seven yolks, has very pretty pictures, with a step-by-step tutorial – it couldn’t get any easier.
I halved the recipe, as I aways do when I first try a new dish, but I really should have made the whole thing – the bars were gone in no time.
Only a warning: these cookies are for the lemon lovers, who truly appreciate having goosebumps while eating something tart.
For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the lemon filling
- 7 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
- 1/4 cup grated lemon zest
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream (I totally forgot to add it, maybe it would have toned down the tartness a little)
Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square pan by folding two 16-inch pieces of foil lengthwise. Fit one sheet on the bottom of the pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides (overhang will help in removal of baked bars). Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Butter or grease the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, the flour, confectioners’ sugar,until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer over the entire pan bottom.
Bake the crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool a little while making the filling. Don’t turn the oven off.
Make the filling
In a medium saucepan, whisk the yolks and whole eggs together. Add the granulated sugar and whisk until just combined. Add the lemon juice, zest and whisk until combined.
Cook over medium/low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, until it’s thickened and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.
Immediately pour the curd through a single-mesh stainless steel strainer set over a clean bowl. Stir in the heavy cream; pour the curd into the warm crust immediately.
Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes.
Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before removing the bars from the pan using the foil and cutting into squares. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.