This post is a couple days late due to traveling things. But better late than never, right? My wonderful yoga-friend gave me a gigantic bag of organic lemons the last day I did yoga with her and I promised her I would use them to bake something lemony and delicious. So I baked these! I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (as usual), so I knew it would be lovely. My mom actually told me that these were the best lemon bars she’d ever had! I was pretty satisfied with how they came out. I wish I had one right this second, but unfortunately I’m on the wrong side of the country (and to be honest, they’ve probably been consumed by my family by now wahh).
These lemon bars were my final hurrah: the last thing I would bake or cook in the fully-stocked, roomy California kitchen at my parents’ house before I left to go back to New York. It was my last night at home, so naturally I had to get some last minute baking in. While most people would go out and party with friends on their last night, I baked. Pretty indicative of my summer. My friend Armen insisted that I teach him how to bake, so I put him to work on the crust. This recipe was somewhat involved (as expected from lemon bars), but it was worth it. I wonder if I’ll ever say something I bake/cook isn’t worth it. It would probably have to be a true disaster. I generally only choose to make things that I would find delicious, and they’ve generally been successful. Knock on wood. I’ve probably jinxed it now. Sigh. ANYWAYS:
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 pinch salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 c. flour
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×9″ baking pan with coconut oil (or butter, oooor whatever you usually use). In a food processor, pulse the sugar, zest and salt until combined. Add the butter and continue to pulse until it’s dispersed throughout, then add the flour and pulse even more until it becomes doughy. This may take a while–Armen got rather frustrated (indicated by the phrase “so over this” I heard repeatedly muttered from his designated dough-making corner of the kitchen). When it’s nice and dough-like, press it into the bottom of the pan and about 1/2″ up the sides. Bake it for about 15 minutes or until it’s a little bit browned on the edges and let it cool while you make the filling. Leave the oven on!
1 cup raspberries
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice (freshly squeezed! about 4 lemons’ worth)
2/3 c. flour
A bit of confectioner’s sugar to dust on top
Puree the raspberries in the food processor until they’re liquified, then strain the puree to remove the seeds. I ended up with a little less than 1/3 c. of puree, but don’t worry about being too exact. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Next, whisk in your raspberry puree and stir in the flour until combined. Pour enough of this lovely concoction into the semi-cooled (doesn’t need to be completely cool, don’t worry) crust until it’s level with the edges and stick it back in the oven for about 25 minutes until it has almost completely set (just a teeensy bit jiggly, but mostly solid). Take it out of the oven and let it cool before cutting. Unfortunately when it comes to lemon bars, you actually have to wait for them to cool. When I absolutely HAVE to wait for something to cool, I usually stick in the fridge so I don’t have to stare at it. Also, it works faster, so it’s doubly efficient. Once cooled, cut and enjoy!
You maaaay have noticed that I doubled the filling recipe. This was for a number of reasons, one of them being that I used a 9×9″ pan instead of 8×8″ (since that’s all I had) and the other being that I am silly and accidentally poured all of my raspberry puree into the medium bowl instead of the 3 tablespoons that the original recipe called for (oops). I just doubled everything else and it turned out rather fabulous if I do say so myself. I liked the thicker filling area with the thinner crust, it was a nice combo.
Stay tuned for some DORM COOKIN’ coming up within the next few weeks, friends. It’ll be an adventure to say the least.