January 4, 2010

January Recipe

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year! I hope this post finds you all well and relaxed after the holidays. I am excited to share this month's recipe with you. Angela, of San Francisco, chose this months recipe, Lemon Bars on Brown Butter Shortbread. (The link will take you to the printable version.)

I'm very excited for this year and for all of the recipes we will try. That said, Please Please Please try and remember to post your final product to the blog! We have been a little scarce on posts and I know most of you are actually baking each month. Don't feel pressured to share a huge story about your items - at least share one photo and thumbs up or down rating. It is really fun to see everyone's creations so be sure to share with us. If you are having any problems with Blogger please let me know so I can help. 

Thanks Everyone and Happy Baking! 

Lemon Bars on Brown Butter Shortbread

Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt & Chad Robertson

1/2 C (55g) Confectioner's Sugar
1 1/2 C (215 g) All Purpose Flour
3/4 C (170 g) Unsalted Butter room temperature
1/2 C (55 g) pine nuts optional

1/2 C (70 g) All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 C (455 g) sugar
1 C + 2 T (280 ml) lemon juice
zest of one small lemon
6 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
pinch salt

Confectioner's Sugar for topping optional

Note: If you can find Bergamot Orange (a sour aromatic variety), use the zest (the juice doesn't have the characteristic flavor) in place of the lemon zest. You may also want to try adding pine nuts to the crust. Their earthy flavor is delicious with lemon, and their light, fatty crunch is a good contrast to the crust. Pine nuts are one of the few nuts not overwhelmed by the strong flavor of lemon. 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9x 13 inch baking pan. 

To make the crust, sift the confectioner's sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the flour and stir to mix. Add the butter and pine nuts (if using) and beat on low speed just until a smooth dough forms. 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. 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 (you can also use beans if you don't have pie weights). Bake the crust until it colors evenly to a deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180˚ if the crust appears to be baking unevenly. 

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 zest and stir to dissolve the sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and yolk with the salt. Add the eggs tot eh lemon juice mixture and whisk until well mixed. 

When the crust is ready, pull out the oven rack holding the crust and pour the filling directly into the hot pan. (It is easiest to poor the custard into the pan if the pan is in the oven). If the crust has come out of the oven and cooled before you have finished the filling, put it back in for a few minutes so that it is hot when the custard is poured into it. Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚F 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 tops of the squares with the confectioner's 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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