Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lemon Bars on Brown Butter Shortbread

Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone! I can't say I'm usually much of a football fan, but I have to represent San Francisco! Unfortunately I don't have a classic football-watching recipe for you, like potato skins or chicken wings. These lemon bars are quite the opposite - delicate and ladylike, but so, so delicious.

I've had the Tartine cookbook for a long time, but I've always been kind of intimidated by it. The recipes are all very thorough, which I appreciate, but five pages on croissants and proper croissant folding and rolling technique scares the crap out of me. I'm sure it would be well worth the effort, but for now I'm sticking with these simple, tart, beautiful lemon bars.

Lemon Bars on Brown Butter Shortbread (recipe from Tartine)

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
6 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. For the crust, sift the confectioners sugar into the bowl of a mixer, and add flour and stir to mix the two. Be careful with this part - I mixed on too high of a speed and sprayed flour everywhere...oops! Add the butter and beat on a low speed until a smooth dough forms. 

Press the dough into your prepared pan so it's about 1/4 inch thick and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Use a fork to score the dough, which prevents it from puffing up too much. As you can see from my photo, my crust was definitely not very beautiful and probably could have been more evenly distributed, but no one will know once the filling is on top! Bake the crust for about 25-30 minutes, until it is a deep golden brown.

While the crust is baking, you can make the filling. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and sugar. Add in the lemon juice and zest and stir well so that the sugar dissolves. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolk, and pinch of salt. Finally, add the egg mixture to the lemon juice mixture and whisk well.

Ideally, you'll have the filling ready just as the crust finishes baking (it helps to juice all the lemons first - that part took me forever!). Remove the crust from the oven and carefully pour the filling into the pan. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes, just until the filling is solid and not wobbly.

Cool the bars completely, and dust them with powdered sugar. You can cut them into bars or just start attacking them with a fork like I shame!

Here's a behind the scenes look at my photography process, which usually involves shooing Poppy off the table. Nobody likes orange cat hair in their food, sorry Poppy!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ugh stupid Blogspot.I tried to say yum! These look so good and I'll have to try to make them. I always have to shoo Kleo away. :)

  3. Love the pics! Especially the broken egg shells and lemons. Yowza!!

  4. Love your recipes, and i'm in awe of your pics. Those eggshells were a brilliant idea.