Sunday, April 07, 2013

Yellow things?

 Some "Yellow" things in life this week -

A yellow Pansy from the Easter bowl that we got each other.  I paid for the flowers and The Shepherd potted them up for the back porch.  They are so cheery looking! 

Believe it or not, these little daffodils are only about 4 inches tall.  I guess I should have put a quarter or something on the ground next to them- as that is only how big the little blossoms are.  

These three are not much bigger - only about 8 or 10 inches tall.  but they add a friendly "hello" to our driveway flower beds.  

Can you believe that for as long as I have been cooking and baking I have never made lemon bars? But I made some yesterday to take to church today and they were just delicious.  And Lemony - Just right lemony, too.  

It was a busy day at church for me today because not only did I have the service to do, but I had already scheduled us to do snacks and could not find anyone to trade with.  So I called in some "Kitchen Angels" - friends who had previously offered to help - The theme for my service was Humility - so, I got a couple of Willamette Valley Frozen Pies at the store last week, (humble pie, get it)  but wanted to take something "lemony" so I decided to make Lemon Bars.  (I also took 2# of sliced cheese, a pound of sliced ham, a loaf of bread, a box of BIG wheat thins and some other little snack crackers AND, 1/2 dozen oranges cut up,  The only thing left was these two lemon bars and a little sack of orange slices.  It was a hungry bunch.) 

I used Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Super Lemony Lemon Squares, but made a few changes to suit my tastes.  I like the tang and flavor that lemon zest gives to lemon things, but hate the grainy texture that it gives them.  So I zested all my lemons with my microplane zester - I ended up with about 4 teaspoons -- and put the zest with about 3 tablespoons of water in a little pan and heated it up on the stove enough to release the lemon oils then I put that water & zest in with the lemon juice and strained the whole thing.  Since I was using my stoneware baking pan, I didn't chill the crust either - putting a cold stoneware pan into a hot oven is a recipe for disaster.  it still came out tasty and flaky so I think that is a step you could skip from the recipe. 

Sort of Emerel's Super Lemony Lemon Squares Ingredients

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks), plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup whole milk (i used cream, because that's what I had)

Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter and line with 1 sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Butter the top of this sheet of paper with 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter and then lay a second sheet of parchment or waxed paper crosswise over the first sheet. The parchment should be cut large enough so that the sides are even with the top of the baking dish; this extra paper will function as handles to help you remove the lemon squares from the pan later. Set pan aside. (I only used the bottom piece of parchment)

In a large bowl combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, 2/3 cup of the confectioners' sugar, the cornstarch, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and mix thoroughly. Cut the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands, 2 forks, or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the butter-flour mixture to the prepared baking dish and press into an even 1/4-inch layer along the bottom and partly up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While the crust is baking, assemble the filling by combining the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon zest in a medium bowl and whisking until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, milk, and pinch of salt and mix well.

When the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Stir the lemon mixture again, then pour onto the warm crust. Bake until the filling is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Grasp the waxed paper that lines the 2 longest sides of the baking dish and remove the bars from the pan by pulling up gently. The entire dessert should easily dislodge and come away from the pan. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a clean knife, cut into squares, wiping knife after each cut. Place a small amount of confectioners' sugar into a small sieve, and sprinkle the bars with the sugar. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, wrapped with plastic wrap, up to 2 days, until ready to serve.

The only "yellow" thing that was missing from my day was the sun - oh, well, it is spring in the Pacific NW.


Leigh said...

I love lemon, so thank you for the recipe! I have to say that yellow is truly a perfect spring color. Like sunshine after the drab days of winter.

vlb5757 said...

Sadly our pretty blooming yellow things already have come and gone. Now I am thinking about moving them to a different place. I think I need to do it now or I will forget where they are.

Anonymous said...

MMmmmmm Lemon bars. I love lemon bars. Thanks for the recipe!