January is not only the month of healthy eating but also the month for baking lemon bars and the month that decides which teams go to the Super Bowl. Much like my classic lemon bars, the SF 49ers played and won what will become a classic game against Atlanta that earned them a spot in the Super Bowl. Nothing wrong with the classics when it comes to lemon bars and football. Those of you who follow my blog know that my son, Taylor is the Digital Media Coordinator for the SF 49ers and that he will also be Super Bowl bound. All in all, I would say that Sunday was a pretty good day.
I baked and photographed lemon bars during the game because I’m one of those people who can’t sit still and just watch a game. I have to keep moving because I have a tendency to get nervous during important games.
For those of you, myself included, who are tired of seeing my dining room table as the background for almost every picture I take for my blog- I went on the hunt for a different wood background for my photos. This piece of wood is in fact not new at all, it’s a floor sample made from refinished salvaged wood. Thanks to my new old piece of wood, which can now be easily moved around the room, I can find natural light in the afternoon for my photos. Will wonders never cease? This proverb was first recorded in print in 1775 and makes me wonder about the age of my wood floor sample? A nice young woman was kind enough to sell me a few of the floor samples from her showroom which are a perfect size for my backgrounds and were reasonably priced.
The sweet flowers and Meyer lemons are from my garden which still looks pretty good considering it’s the middle of January, which brings me back to January being the month of the lemon bar. Due to a surplus of Meyer lemons, if that’s ever possible!- it’s lemon bar baking time in my neck of the woods. And guess what I’ll be baking, for luck-of course, during the Super Bowl?
Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.
- For the Vanilla Shortcrust Dough
- 1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-3 teaspoons water
- For the Lemon Filling
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup strained fresh squeezed lemon juice, I used Meyer lemons and Eureka lemons
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- To Make the Vanilla Shortcrust Dough
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse 5 times to blend.
- Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 8-10 times, until the butter is the size of small peas.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of water, add to the butter mixture.
- Process the mixture just until the dough begins to clump together.
- Test the dough by squeezing together a clump of dough, it should hold together.
- If the dough is too dry and doesn't hold together, sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of water and try again, repeat-if necessary.
- Turn the dough out, knead it a few times and shape into a disk.
- Chill for 10 minutes.
- To Make the Classic Lemon Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a 9" square pan with foil across the bottom and up all 4 sides adding extra to make handles to lift the finished lemon bars out of the pan before cutting.
- Coat the foil with baking spray.
- Press the vanilla shortcrust dough into the prepared pan.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
- Bake the chilled crust for 35 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.
- Transfer to a rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the flour.
- Whisk in the lemon juice and pour the filling over the cooled crust.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the filling is set.
- Place on metal rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
- If storing for longer than 1 day place in the fridge (store in fridge up to 3 days).