Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The best (and worst) thing about fruit is it's freshness and fleeting shelf life. Nothing compares to a piece of fresh fruit but if you're not in the mood, it forces you to use it anyway, damnit, because if you don't, you've just wasted good fruit.
I bought a bag of lemons for my lemon tart because it saves a lot of money. Turns out, it didn't take 10-12 lemons to make one tart. Who knew. Okay, I did, but I didn't know what else I could make with the lemons until I came across an extremely high rated recipe on All Recipes.
As usual, I looked over the recipe itself and then the top most useful comments left by reviewers who have modified the original. I almost always use the altered recipe, for better or worse. This time, it came out really REALLY better. It was lemony without being too strong and perfectly proportioned with the straight-forward crust. They call this Bake Sale Lemon Bars and I can see why: they need nothing accompanying them whatsoever. No whipped cream, no big glass of milk. I was surprised how well the tart lemon and sweetness added balanced.
Oh and so not to be wasteful, I candied the peels. They make cute decoration but lack substance: they taste like sugar with a hint of lemon! But, still. Cute decoration. :)
As for the bars themselves, this recipe is definitely a keeper!
BAKE SALE LEMON BARS
Submitted by: Elaine, modified by GOURMETMOMMY
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. Combine the flour, 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, and butter. Pat dough into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly golden. While the crust is baking, whisk together eggs, white sugar, flour, and lemon juice until frothy. Add 3 drops yellow food coloring. Pour this lemon mixture over the hot crust.
4. Return to the preheated oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the top with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.
CANDIED LEMON PEELS
Source: Epicurious, Gabrielle Carbone
1 lemon, washed well
2 1/2 cups sugar
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the lemon in vertical strips. Try to remove only the yellow zest, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Save the lemon for another use.
In a small saucepan, combine the peels with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain off the water. Again add 2 cups cold water, bring to a boil, and drain. Repeat the process a third time, then remove the peels from the pan and set aside.
Measure 2 cups of the sugar into the pan and add 1 cup water, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Add the peels and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the peels are tender and translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the peels and let cool.
Measure the remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a medium bowl and add the peels. Toss to coat. Using a fork or your fingers, remove the peels one at time, gently shaking each to remove excess sugar. Store in an airtight container. The peels will keep for several weeks.