April 23, 2010

Lemon bars with surprise

I really am into lemon lately! Today I realized that I still had another one at home and I couldn't resist: I had to use it. I really wanted to make something in the lemon & poppyseeds mood but it was afternoon so more than scones and muffins I was craving for some tasty bars. So I decided to make lemon bars with a poppyseed surprise.

The crust is a yummy shortbread crust made with half unbleached all purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour. The filling is a lemon-intense cream that remained softer than usual because I did not add any flour or cornstarch. In between the crust and the filling I sprinkled poppyseeds, so that some remained attached to the crust while some got mixed with the filling when I poured it on the warm crust. I really liked this twist! The only thing that did not convince me of this recipe is that the crust was a bit too dry and crumby once it completely cool down. I think this was due to the fact that half of the flour was wheat flour. I'll have to try this recipe again.

Lemon Bars with Surprise

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (half unbleached all purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup confectioner sugar, plus extra to decorate finished bars
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room temperature


4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp poppy seeds

Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 13×9-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
To make the crust, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Blend in with an electric mixer at low speed until mixture forms coarse, sandy crumbs. Pour into pan and press mixture down with your fingers into an even layer 1/4 inch high. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with poppyseeds and bake for 16-20 minutes, until just lightly browned around the edges.

While the crust is baking, make filling (you need to be sure that the filling is ready to be poured when the crust is ready and warm). Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl.

When the crust comes out of the oven and is still warm, pour in filling mixture (part of the poppyseed will mix into the filling).

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees and bake for about 16-20 minutes, or until the filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.

Cool completely at room temperature before slicing and sprinkle confectioners’ sugar to serve, if desired.

Makes about 24 bars. Enjoy!

Inspiration: Baking Bites

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