Friday, August 16, 2013
If you've forgotten about me I don't blame you.
I wish I could tell you the reason this space was neglected for over 2 months was because of my cookbook. But now I'm writing to remind all of us there's a right time and place in life for everything, and life caught up with me just to show me who is really in charge. There were major changes with the professional work, a new found opportunity to cook at another job and a short period of nervous breakdown as I contemplated the imminent decision to put the cookbook project to sleep.
Perhaps one day I will continue with the book. As for now, every ounce of energy I have has to be channeled through my two demanding jobs. My apologies to get so many of you excited with a contract I couldn't fulfill. The fact remains that as a perfectionist, my desire is to give you the best cookbook I could or nothing at all. Just like the food I serve - that spot on seasoning, just right texture of rice, al dente pasta and juicy burger patty.
Lessons were learned in these quick months, getting to see the true colors of people around you. I will hold fast to those who stand by me. Love what you have - when life gives you lemons, make lemon bars.
Meyer Lemon Bars
Adapted barely from David Lebovitz's Whole Lemon Bars.
Yield: 8" square pan.
Note: The use of one whole lemon in this recipe totally makes it. I'm personally not fussy about whether or not the citrus is organic, considering the price of such produce here may be too much for many. I used all Meyer lemon in this recipe, but many bakers experienced with Meyer versus regular lemon would vouch for the latter. Try the variations yourself and decide!
- 1 cup/140 grams flour
- 1/4 cup/50 grams sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons/115 grams melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 regular or Meyer lemon, organic or unsprayed
- 1 cup/200 grams sugar
- 3 tablespoons/45 milliliters freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 teaspoons corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons/45 grams melted unsalted butter
- powdered sugar, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, pressing to nudge neatly into the corners. Lightly butter or spray the surface . In a medium bowl, mix the flour, 1/4 cup/50 grams sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 8 tablespoons/115 grams melted butter, and vanilla, stirring just until smooth. Smooth the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or a small offset spatula to get leveled. Bake for 25 minutes, or until deep-golden brown.
While the crust is cooking, cut the whole lemon in half, remove the seeds, and cut into chunks. Put the chunks of lemon in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and lemon juice, and let it run until the lemon is completely broken up. Add the eggs, corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons/45 grams melted butter, and blend until almost smooth, leaving tiny bits of lemon in the mix.
When the crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat of the oven to 300ºF/150ºC. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 25 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling and is barely set. Remove and let cool completely. Once cool, carefully lift out the bars grasping the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles. Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving, if desired.
Bars keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days and up to a month in the freezer. Rest to room temperature before serving.
Life Is Great explores the incredible world of food and cooking. We hope to share with you our most delicious moments and inspirations.
“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”
Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
“Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”
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