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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tart of the Month * Lemon Bars

Wow, I've done almost a full year of Tarts of the Month!

February 2014 - Meyer Lemon Tart 

March 2014 - Butternut Squash, Mushroom & Gruyère Tart

April 2014 - Spring Asparagus & Goat's Cheese Tart

May 2014 - Asparagus & Gruyère Tart

June 2014 - Strawberry Tarts

July 2014 - Clafoutis

August 2014 - Plum Tart with Honey & Black Pepper

September 2014 - Beet, Cheddar & Apple Tart

October 2014 - Pumpkin Spice Tarts

November 2014 - Butternut Squash Tart with Sage, Honey & Chilis

So I figured I'd give myself a little Christmas gift and cheat a little with December's tart of the month.  These lemon bars aren't technically a tart, but they have a shortbread crust and a creamy filling and you could bake them in tart pans instead of a baking pan.

This recipe is adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  Here's what you need for these tasty lemon bars:

1 3/4 cups flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
170 grams (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter

4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup milk
pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting

Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment.  Place all the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it looks like coarse crumbs.  

Press the crumbs into the baking pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while the crust chills.  Then bake the chilled crust for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, make the filling.  Mix together the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt.

Whisk in the lemon juice, zest and milk.

Pour the filling into the warm crust.  The filling is quite liquid but don't be alarmed, it will set up in the oven.  

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set and firm to the touch but still a little jiggly.  Let the bars cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Use the parchment paper to carefully lift it out of the pan and move it to a rack to finish cooling.  

Slice into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  

These taste amazing and you can close your eyes and pretend they're tarts if you like.

Happy Holidays!  

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