On nights when temperatures are below zero, it's hard not to let the mind wander and think about warmer times. When I do this, my thoughts drift towards the approaching spring season. My first round of golf for the year may only be a month a way, time to start hitting the driving ranges. Garden planning should begin now. It won't be totally pitch black when I leave work. While I like the colors and hues of winter, when I think of spring I start thinking of bright colors like yellow. This is the reason when I saw this recipe for lemon bars, I thought of spring.
from the Spring 2007 issue of The Baker's Companion magazine, page 47.
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 oz.) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz.) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz.) lemon juice
1/4 cup (1 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. lemon zest (2 lemons worth) or 1/2 tsp. lemon oil
powdered sugar for sprinkling
While preheating the oven to 350° F, grease a 9x9 inch (or similarly dimensioned) pan.
Make the crust first. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix thoroughly. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry blender. Mix until the crumbs are coarse. Put the crumbs in the pan and press to form the crust. Bake this for 20 minutes. It's done when the color is a light brown.
For the topping, cream the eggs, sugar (granulated), and lemon juice until it's smooth. Fold in the flour, lemon zest or oil, and salt. Pour this over the crust once it is finished with the pre-bake and bake for another 25 minutes. These bars are done when the topping appears set. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
A tip for one of Lorrie's coworkers: Use a cookie cutter or a stencil to give the sprinkled powdered sugar a shape.