The Buttery Blog

Everything's better with butter.

Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars October 19, 2009

Filed under: Desserts — butteryblog @ 11:38 pm
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Pucker Up!

Pucker Up!

Another chapter from the Lemon Cookbook! My friend S and I decided to make Ina Garten‘s lemon bars. I’d made it once a few years ago and it was quite a disaster, but it was my fault. My baking dish was too small so the bars never cooked properly. This time, I put the batter into two dishes. Still, I can’t say I loved these. I loved the taste; it was an excellent balance of tart and sweet. But the texture wasn’t quite right. The recipe calls for flour in the lemon mixture to help the bars set, but I felt like this made the bars gummy. None of the others that ate these made that comment and in fact, they went over really well, but I personally would prefer something a bit creamier. If anyone has a killer lemon bar recipe, hit me with it!

Lemon Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 20 squares or 40 triangles

 

CRUST:

    1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temp
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 cups flour
    1/8 teaspoon salt

FILLING:

    6 XL eggs, room temp
    3 cups sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon zest (4-6 lemons)
    1 cup lemon juice
    1 cup flour
    Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

3. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

4. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

 

GRADE: B
♥Lady Butterbuns

 

Lemon-Lemon Mousse September 25, 2009

Filed under: Desserts — butteryblog @ 12:30 am
Tags: ,
Pucker up!

Pucker up!

I’ve never really like mousse; I always felt like it wanted to be pudding and failed. But, as you may know, I have a lemon tree that won’t quit. So when you have a bushel of lemons in one hand and some unused-but-slowly-aging heavy cream in the other … well, you make mousse.

This recipe not only marks the first time I’ve made mousse, but the first time I’ve successfully made lemon curd. I tried once, years ago, and it was an unmitigated disaster. It feels good to finally triumph over a recipe! You’ll notice this recipe, from Everyday Food, is actually called “Lemon Lime Mousse.” Since my main goal was to use up my surplus of lemons, I didn’t bother with the lime.

Overall, this dessert was delicious. The lemon curd was tart and went perfectly with the fresh whipped cream. I will say, though, that it’s a heavy dessert. You’re not going to sit down to a pint of this mousse and live to tell the tale. It would be excellent with some shortbread cookies or served with a scoop of fruit sorbet. It also tends to have a better consistency as the days go on (until the day it becomes old and soggy, anyway).

Lemon Lime Mousse

Makes 6 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

PREP TIME:10 MINUTES/TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS 30 MINUTES

1. You can make the lemon curd (through step one) up to two days ahead; keep it refrigerated. The velvety curd is also delicious spread on shortbread and scones.

2. Make the lemon curd: In a medium saucepan whisk together butter, 1 cup sugar, eggs, yolks, lemon juice, and lime juice (mixture may appear curdled). Place over low heat; cook, stirring, until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium; cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 4 to 8 minutes (do not boil).

3. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the lemon zest.Transfer mixture to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour.  Press the plastic wrap directly onto surface of lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream and remaining 1/3 cup sugar to soft peaks. Whisk lemon curd to loosen, then gently fold in whipped cream. Spoon into six glasses. Cover; chill at least 2 hours and up to 3 days, Just before serving, garnish with zest.

GRADE: A-

♥Lady Butterbuns

 

Four-Way Lemonade June 11, 2009

Filed under: drinks — butteryblog @ 4:57 am
Tags: ,

I have a lemon tree in my backyard. Right now it is bursting with fruit. I gave bagfuls to my friends D&M. D loves to makes drinks in the blender and one day he showed me how he made lemonade. Taking his basic recipe, I came up with four variations.

First, though, I’d like to show you the kinds of lemons that grow on my tree:

The real meaning of "organic."

The real meaning of "organic."

Not exactly the perfectly oval things you see at Vons, right? But they’re really fragrant and delicious.

Here’s the basic recipe:

  • 3 lemons, no rinds
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 quart water

Throw the lemons and sugar into the blender with about a cup of water and blend it up! You can remove the seeds prior to blending if you want, but since it gets strained, I find it unnecessary.

Once you find your perfect tart/sweet balance by adding/subtracting lemons/sugar, strain the concoction into a pitcher. Add the remaing water.

Wow, that was easy.

Now for the fun stuff:

Peach Lavender Lemonade

Peach Lavender Lemonade

Peach Lavender Lemonade

In addition to the basic recipe, add a few sprigs of lavender and two peaches (peeled) into the blender.

I liked, but didn’t love this version. The peaches were a bit tart for my taste, but I’m sure if I had riper, juicer ones, my complaint would be alleviated.

GRADE: B


Apple Ginger Lemonade

Appley. Gingery.

Appley. Gingery.

In addition to the basic recipe, add one apple and two inches of peeled ginger root to the blender (if, like me, you freeze your ginger, microwave it for 30 seconds before blending).

I loved this version.  The ginger gave it such a nice bite.

GRADE: A


Blackberry Basil Lemonade

Best drink. Ever.

Best drink. Ever.

In addition to the basic recipe, add a handful of blackberries and four leaves of basil to the blender.

This is the best thing I have ever made. EVER. It was the perect balance of sweet and tangy with a subtle herbal undertone. I should bottle this one!
GRADE: A+


Chamomile Lemonade

Ahh...

Ahh...

In addition to the basic recipe, brew one mug of chamomile tea. Add the tea to the strained lemon mixture and water. Make sure the tea is cool or else, you know, you’ll have hot lemonade.

I used Tazo Calm tea in my version. It has a subtle mint flavor that I found very pleasing.
GRADE: B+


Enjoy the summer!

♥Lady Butterbuns