Meyer Lemon Bars from Ashley, Meta Street Cafe
After picking a basketful of Meyer lemons from the lemon trees growing in back of our houses, I set out to make lemon bars for a neighbor’s BYO(Sweets) birthday party.
Because we 💛 a tart 🍋 bar, I added about four times as much lemon zest and doubled the amount of curd listed in the recipe from the New York Times Cooking Section.
It is worth mentioning that many of the reviews of this recipe noted that the lemon curd did not set well. It was suggested that the curd boil for a full minute, but not longer, or it begins to thin, again. From my experience following this tip, the curd did thicken, but still did not firm up as much as I would have liked. Using olive oil may be a factor in the consistancy, but I love baking with olive oil.
In all, I, really, can’t argue with a thick slather of lemon curd on a shortbread base. So, I’d make them again, but I might rather call them Meyer Lemon Curd on Shortbread. 💛
1 ¼ cups/155 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup/50 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons/25 grams confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons/142 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 to 6 lemons
1 ½ cups/300 grams sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 ½ teaspoons/5 grams cornstarch
Pinch of fine sea salt
4 tablespoons/57 grams butter
¼ cup/60 milliliters fruity extra-virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with enough parchment to hang over two of the sides (to be used as handles later to lift the bars out of the pan).
To make the shortbread base, pulse together the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food processor, or whisk together in a large bowl. Add butter and pulse (or use two knives or your fingers) to cut the butter into the flour until a crumbly dough forms. Press dough into prepared pan and bake until shortbread is pale golden all over, 30 to 35 minutes.
While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon curd: Grate 1/2 tablespoon zest from lemons and set aside. Squeeze lemons to yield 3/4 cup juice.
In a small saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and fine sea salt over medium heat until boiling and thickened, 2 to 5 minutes. Make sure mixture comes to a boil or the cornstarch won’t activate. But once it boils do not cook for longer than 1 minute or you risk the curd thinning out again. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Whisk in butter, olive oil and lemon zest.
When the shortbread is ready, take it out of the oven and carefully pour the lemon curd onto the shortbread base; return the pan to the oven. Bake until topping is just set, 10 to 15 minutes more. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold before cutting into bars. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and flaky sea salt right before serving.
Recipe from Melissa Clark, The New York Times Cooking