Saturday, March 1, 2008

lemon bars on brown butter shortbread

this recipe is from the tartine cookbook my friends juliann and kathryn gave me. tartine is an amazing bakery in san francisco the city that is my one true love. these lemon bars are the best lemon bars i've ever had. ever. they recommend you eat them chilled, but i honestly love them still a little warm. cut a piece and sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar on top individually.

1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 c. pine nuts (optional - i chose not to add them)

1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. + 2 T. lemon juice
lemon zest from one lemon
6 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
pinch salt (whisking eggs with salt helps to denature (relax) the protein in the eggs and breaks them up more quickly and thoroughly.)

confectioner's sugar to top

preheat the oven to 350° F. butter a 9x13" baking pan.

to make the crust, sift the confectioners' 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 a 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 (i used beans cause i didn't have any weights). bake the crust until it colors evenly to a deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. rotate the pan 180 degrees 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 egg yolk with the salt. add the eggs to the 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 pour 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 making 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 temp. to 300° F and bake just until the center of the custard is no longer wobbly, 30 to 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 confectioners' sugar. they will keep in an airtight container or well covered in teh baking dish in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


julia said...

oh, you've posted about one of my favorite things in the world. i'll definitely have to try this recicpe..

f*bomb. said...

You know my weaknesses.
A good song and something made of lemon.
You spellbinder.

Holly said...

these look delicious!! if you're ever wanting to try a new lemon bar recipe, the barefoot contessa lemon bars are to die for!! i used to claim i didn't like lemon bars until i had her recipe. warm or cold, they're delicious! i'll have to try out your recipe as well!