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LEMON BARS ON BROWN BUTTER SHORTBREAD

June 4, 2013

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Lemon bars are the perfect treat on a crisp autumn day to invoke the feeling of summer. But a really cold lemon bar in the heat of the summer is the perfect way to cool down. And I guarantee, this isn’t the lemon bar you’re used to making.  To make this bar, you bake the bottom until it turns a golden brown, producing a deeper butter flavor and crispier crust.   No doughy crust here. You’ll find that these bars not only have a good bite, but they will stay crisp beyond the day they were made.  The truly are citrus perfection.

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from Tartine Cookbook

Crust:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Filling:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
lemon zest from one small lemon
6 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9 X 13 inch baking pan.

To make the crust, sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the flour and stir to mix.

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Add the butter and beat on low speed until a smooth dough forms.

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Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. It should be about 1/4 inch thick.

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To help even out the crust, use the flat bottom of any type of cup, pressing down firmly. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (if you don’t have pie weights, beans or rice work nicely).

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Bake the crust until it colors evenly to a deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time.

While the crust is baking, make the filling. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until blended. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and stir to dissolve the sugar.

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In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk with the salt. Add the eggs to the lemon juice mixture and whisk until well mixed. (Whisking eggs with salt help to relax the protein in the eggs and breaks them up more quickly and thoroughly.)

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When the crust is ready, pour the filling directly into the hot pan. If the crust has come out of the oven and cooled before you have finished making the filling, put it back in for a few minutes so that it is hot when the custard is poured into it.

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Reduce the temperature to 300° and bake just until the center of the custard is no longer wobbly, 30-40 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, then cover and chill well before cutting. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 squares, or as desired. If you like, dust the top of the squares with confectioners’ sugar. They will keep in an airtight container or well covered in the baking dish in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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  1. SK says:

    I am obsessed with lemon desserts, I am pinning this so I can remember to make it later!

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