Take the classic Lemon Bar and transform it into an explosion of flavors by simply adapting a few ingredients. This recipe comes from my favorite new cookbook “The New Best Recipe” from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated (one of my favorite cooking magazines!). These guys know what they are doing and do it oh-so-right! It’s a dream job located in Brookline, MA and one to which I applied after graduation. But to work for such an esteemed Test Kitchen, you need to have SOME background experience with Research and Development, which was non-existent in my resume. You win some, you lose some! (To which I don’t complain because after that rejection, I was employed on Martha’s Vineyard, had the summer of my life and met the man of my dreams!)
Back to Lemon Bars, a classic American Bake Sale item, loved by some, adored by others. The only real picky person in my family is my mom, who doesn’t enjoy when things taste too “eggy”. Can you believe this?! The mother of the Egg Lover, saying she doesn’t like the eggy taste! Blasphemy! Well, she’s my mother and I love her, so I strive to make things that she’ll love. Obviously, Lemon Bars are a sweet pastry base topped with a curd and a curd is well…basically eggs. I adapted the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, changed a few things around here and there and came up with this amazing, flavorful item.
The custard MUST be poured into the HOT crust, so 10 minutes into the oven, start your custard so it is ready on time!
Crust: In a large bowl mix 1 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, pinch of salt and 1 stick of butter; the butter should be previously cubed, cool. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients, until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Form into a ball and rest overnight.
The next day, add 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger to the dough and knead. Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness and place in a previously greased baking pan. Arrange the rolled dough on and push the corners up and to the sides of the pan. Fork it! Bake in oven until golden brown at 350F.
Filling: (I realized it was not a lot o dough, so I made half the filling)
Whisk 3 egg yolks and 1 egg together with 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Add the juice and zest of 3 limes and a pinch of salt. Pour into small saucepan and using your whisk, stir until the curd thickens. Remove from heat, strain and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of milk.
By this time, check on your crust and if it’s ready, pull it out and pour the curd on top. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes or until jiggly! Let cool and cut with a clean knife every time. I topped them with more lime zest and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
|Raw Dough on first two; last one is baked crust with curd poured over|
Comments: Since I used the entire dough recipe and half the filling recipe (the above recipe is the half!), this yielded 10 squares, not 16 like the original recipe. I enjoyed the crust to curd ratio, so it was fine! The Lime was a great addition and 3 limes gave an intense but not over powering flavor. The ginger, on the other hand, could’ve been upped by maybe 1 more tablespoon. You could get a hint of it at the end, but not as much as I would’ve liked.
Awesome Facts about Limes: they are great sources of calcium, iron, copper and potassium. Now, that not so pretty facts that are still great for your health: they destroy putrefactive bacteria in the mouth and intestines; antiseptic, anti-microbial and the greatest one….mucus-resolving! Meaning, it resolves your mucus issues! Of course, Limes are great for when you have a cold. So next time you’re eating a Lime Bar and someone gives you grief on the sugar content tell them you are destroying the PUTREFACTIVE bacterias in your system. They’ll never bother you again, I promise! 😉
What’s so awesome about Ginger? My darling Readers, Ginger is a great ingredient to help avoid motion sickness and nausea! Plus, it contains Vitamin E and Selenium, which means it has Antioxidant properties! And who doesn’t LOVE Antioxidants?! I know I do!
So, go bake Lime Bars with Ginger Speckled Crust! They taste amazing and will destroy….OK, OK! I won’t say that horrible word again! Enjoy!