as winter turns into spring, i can’t wait to stop eating pears and apples and start eating the season’s first berries. thankfully, winter citrus is the perfect transition from winter to spring and texas grapefruits and lemons have been particularly inspirational lately. these lemon bars use an entire lemon, zest, pith, juice, and fruit and are quite easy to make with pantry staples and a blender. the lemon curd filling is intensely lemony and not too sweet (my major complaint about commercial lemon bars). bake them ahead of time so you have ample time to chill them as i think they are best straight from the fridge and the lemon curd is cold against your teeth.
whole lemon bars
from david lebovitz
it would be fun to experiment around with other citrus if you have the time and inclination. i personally think a grapefruit curd would be very tasty but would have to play around with the proportions to make it work. you could also change the crust around by adding finely ground nuts (almonds or hazelnuts perhaps) or adding finely chopped herbs (rosemary or lavender perhaps) for a different flavor dimension.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 c sugar (i used sugar in the raw)
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter melted (unsalted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 lemon (organic would be preferable in this application)
3/4 c sugar (or up to 1 cup if you want it sweeter)
3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 smallish lemon) plus the zest from this lemon
3 eggs, room temp
4 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, melted (also unsalted)
preheat oven to 350. mix all of the crust ingredients together until it is smooth. spread out over a lined and greased 9×9 inch pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.
meanwhile, make the filling. in a blender or food processor, combine the lemon (cut into chunks and seeds removed) with the sugar and lemon juice and blend until nearly smooth. some small chunks are okay. add the eggs, cornstarch, salt, and melted butter and blend again until the mixture is fully combined and almost smooth.
when the crust comes out of the oven, reduce heat to 300 and pour the filling over the crust. bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is barely set. cool completely before a sifting of powdered sugar and cut into squares and serve.