Hello everyone!! I’m a little late, but I’m realizing it’s officially springtime, but it feels nothing like spring. There was a freezing rain extreme weather alert and it’s been snowy for the past few days. Hooray for Canadian spring *sarcasm heavily implied*.
Despite the fact that it’s been cold and grey out, I made some lemon bars to pretend that it’s actually bright, sunny, and warm out, because lemon bars scream springtime (to me, at least). The tangy, yet creamy lemon curd is a perfect solution for leftover egg yolks — and a tasty one too!! If you want to go the extra step, feel free to make some Italian or Swiss meringue to top on the bars (preferably not French meringue because it’s the least stable and the egg whites are raw). If not, a dusting of icing sugar should do the trick.
The lemon curd is smooth and tart, balanced by the sweet, and crisp shortbread cookie base. The base is pre-baked to ensure it stays firm underneath that layer of luscious lemon curd — no one wants a soggy base! Even add in some raspberries or blueberries to garnish if you’re feelin’ fancy, and your mouth will thank you. As you bite into the lemon bars you will get the crisp and sweet, melt-in-your-mouth biscuit, and the silky layer of lemon curd that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
I usually do my own food styling and food photography but this time I got to work with my friend Dan Gonzales, which was a great experience because I’ve had little photography training. Dan is an actual professional photographer, so it was cool to see him in action with all his fancy gear. He is great at what he does, so if you’re in the GTA and you need a photographer, you can check out Dan here: http://www.danjgonzales.com/
These lemon bars are lifesavers when I have too many left-over egg yolks in my fridge. So if you ever find yourself stuck in that position, be sure to try this recipe out. I guarantee it will not disappoint… especially if it’s the brightest thing out there amidst the snowfall in spring time *cries a little inside*.
The best thing about this recipe is that the curd can be used on its own on anything from pancakes, to cheesecakes, inside layered cakes, or on pavlova, the options are endless!
[/recipe title= "Lemon Bars" Time= "prep 30 min, bake 30 min" difficulty= "easy"]
4 large egg yolks
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
85mL (1/3 cup, or about 2 medium lemons) lemon juice
90g (3/8 cup) butter
227g (1 cup) soft butter
60g icing sugar
256g (2 cups) flour
5g (1 tsp, about 1 lemon) zest
5mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
2g (1/4 tsp) salt
- Have a bowl or shallow pan ready for when the curd is ready, set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, mix together egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice before putting it on heat.
- Place the saucepan on low-medium heat, whisking the mixture constantly until thickened to the consistency of pudding.
- Take off heat, and mix in the butter, and pour into bowl or shallow pan. Place plastic wrap directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
- Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment.
- In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment on low-medium speed, cream together butter, icing sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Try not to incorporate too much air.
- Add in flour and salt, and mix until just combined.
- Tip out onto your pan, and gently pat the biscuit base into place.
- Bake at 350F for 12-15 min or until lightly golden.
- Let it cool slightly, then pour your lemon curd over, spreading it evenly across the base.
- Place it back in the oven to bake the curd at 350F for 10-12 min or until just set. Cool completely, slice into squares (wiping your knife clean between slices) then garnish with fruits, meringue, or a dusting of icing sugar.