Friday, June 15, 2012

Lemon Pie Bars

Question:  How do you make an entire room full of people fall in love with you?

Answer:  Show up with a tray full of these delicious Lemon Pie Bars from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.  It works.  Guaranteed!

I have a lot of cookbooks, so these days I check them out from the library before making a purchase.  This book got to me.  Unfortunately it got to a lot of other people as well; I’d have to keep turning it back in because some scoundrel kept putting it on reserve!  This back-and-forthing (and grumbling and muttering) went on for four times while my husband sat on the sidelines, a bemused look on his pastry-covered face.  A week after I reserved it for the fifth time, a box from Amazon showed up at the door, inside was this book and SprinkleBakes, a gift from my husband.  What a guy!  If you haven’t gotten this book yet, do it now.  Go ahead, click through and buy it, I’ll wait.  You will not be sorry, you’ll be in awe.  One recipe is better than the next, and my goal is to try them all.
This is the perfect summer dessert, cool and refreshing on a hot day, the zing of citrus certain to perk you up despite crushing humidity.

Lemon Pie Bars

For the crust

3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 crackers)
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar

For the filling

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Two 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
6 large egg yolks
Fresh Whipped Cream (optional)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F.  Grease a 9 X 13 inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan.

To make the crust:  In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar and blend with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press the graham cracker mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Use a piece of parchment to press on the crust with the palm of your hands to make sure it is completely level.

Bake the crust for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let cool completely before adding the filling. Turn the oven temperature down to 325° F.

To make the filling:  In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk,  and egg yolks.  Pour the filling over the cooled crust.

Place the baking pan inside a larger baking pan and pour enough hot water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is puffed at the edges and no longer jiggles in the center when the pan is tapped.  Remove the pan from the water bath and set it on a rack to cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate until cold.

Cut the bars into squares and serve chilled, with the whipped cream.  The bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To make fresh whipped cream:

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium until it starts to thicken.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until the cream holds nice soft peaks.

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Kay @ The Church Cook said...

Perfectly refreshing dessert...yes, I can see that people will be much friendlier with this! :)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds like a great dessert and your pictures are beautiful! I'll check out the book:@)

KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

These look delicious! I just posted a coconut lemon version. -- Joann

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love that this recipe has LOTS of lemon flavor. Copying and pasting :)

Betsy Brock said...

Yum! Perfect for summer and your photography is lovely!

Debbie said...

This sounds absolutely perfect for the hot summer months. In an added bonus, my theme color for the year is yellow so I am trying to make as many yellow themed recipes as I can.

This is going on my list. Thanks!

~~louise~~ said...

I knew I was beginning to feel tangy when I laid my eyes on those Lemon Pie Bars, I'm in Love!

What a GREAT hubby. I do hope he got a few nibbles:)

Definitely going to check out that book. My public library cookbook shelf is in need of help!

Thank you so much for sharing, Pattie. Can't wait to see that F for Frosty Salad! You are so invited!!!