So... I didn't make Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. I just wasn't in the mood. I was reminiscing about my Raspberry Crumb Bars, and thinking I needed something like those in my life at the moment. And then, the idea just kind of formed. Why not another crumb bar? I don't make them often. With lemon curd, sprinkled with blueberries. And the more I thought about it, the less I thought about cupcakes until poof! The cupcakes were toast. Bring on the crumb bars!
And the rest is history. These turned out so yummy! I don't know about you, but I love baking with lemons. You can do so many things with them, and one of those things is lemon curd. Lemon curd is just one of those amazing things given to us by nature, and more importantly, chemistry. It's so surprising that the combination of egg, sugar, butter, and lemon heated to a precise temperature for a precise amount of time forms a creamy, delicious, smooth custard. Ah, science.
I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite photos to use for the post, so the post is a little more pic heavy than usual. My apologies :)
Besides the labor of love that is poured into the lemon curd, the rest of the bars are really quite simple. I made my dough in the food processor, and LOVED it. I can't believe I've never used it for that purpose before. I'll be experimenting with that a lot more. Thanks to my handy KitchenAid, I was able to make the dough in about 5 minutes. Yeah, I was proud. The blueberries got tossed in a little sugar and cornstarch, a spray of the pan with cooking spray, and I was pretty much done. Besides the baking part, but you know, that's all hands-off time. Meaning your hands are free to grasp a glass of wine while your bars are baking. I'm just saying...
I must warn you, these bars aren't for the faint of heart. They aren't your typical thinnish bar. They are thick, substantial bars with some real meat to them. I'm loving the thick layer of lemon curd in the center, it's luscious and bright. These would be a perfect treat for Mother's Day. Or any spring day. Or any day, period.
The hubby and I are off to Cincinnati for the weekend. We're looking forward to the Cincinnati Beer Run we're participating in tomorrow. I can't say I've ever ran in a race that handed out beer. I figure I should try every experience out that I can while I'm alive. We'll be staying with 2 of the hubby's cousins and their wives, so there will be lots of family this weekend. It should a fun, relaxing weekend in the city, which we so rarely do. Plus, I've already heard there will be Mexican food through the grapevine, so you know I'm excited. I can't say I'll be blogging any this weekend, so I'll close with my recipe.
Have a great weekend!
Ingredients (makes 12 bars):
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1. Prepare lemon curd- place a double broiler over a saucepan of simmering water. Carefully whisk egg and sugar in double broiler, whisking constantly. Be carefully to watch the heat here, you don't want to scramble the egg, you want to temper the egg. Turn down the heat if you have to. After whisking for 2-3 minutes, add lemon juice, butter, and lemon zest. Continue to whisk, for about 15 minutes. You want to cook the lemon curd until it's starting to get thick, but is still creamy. Remove the lemon curd from the heat, place a place a piece of plastic wrap against the curd (to prevent a skin from forming) and set lemon curd aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 375º. Evenly spray a 8 x 11 pan with cooking spray.
3. Combine flour through salt in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is a fine crumb. In a separate dish, whisk egg and vanilla together. Add mixture to food processor. Pulse until mixture has formed a crumbly dough.
4. In a small bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Toss to coat. Set aside.
5. Press half of dough into pan to form the crust. Layer the lemon curd evenly over the crust. Evenly sprinkle the blueberries over the lemon curb. Evenly sprinkle the remaining dough over the bars. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until bars are evenly browned. Remove from oven.
6. Allow pan to cool for 45 minutes- 1 hour before slicing bars. Serve immediately, or chilled. I found both ways appealing :)
|Recipe adapted from Annie's Cooking Lab.|