Like a non-obsessed, reasonable person, which I can pull of if I really try, I compromise. Pies? Apple and blueberry and cherry, okay fine, sans a little cacao they’re still delicious. But what else? What else is just as good without that extra bit?
And then, only last week, I had a revelation. And powdered sugar-encased, crispy and perfect shortbread pastry revelation. Lemon Bars. My neighbors Lemon Bars, created through the channel of a family friend four years younger than me. These Lemon Bars are exquisite and so, so simple. The lemon curd topping is not the stiff, gelatinous topping of the mass-produced but the soft, velvety and perfectly tart lemon flavor of, yes I’ll say it, the gods. And the crust! The crust is perfect. Absolute perfection.
A little hyperbolic perhaps but for once, when I bite into these confections, the thought of chocolate does not cross my mind. A feat for someone slightly addicted.
Betsy’s via Cassidy Lemon Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons lemon juice (not Meyer!), about 2-3 large lemons
2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
Extra powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 13 pan. Melt the 1 cup butter and mix in the powdered sugar, flour, and salt until just combined. Spread dough into bottom of pan until even and then bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
2. Mix together the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs. Fold in the flour and baking soda. Pour topping over hot crust and bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool completely in the pan and then dust with powdered sugar. Cut into bars. Mmmm.