After creating the heaven that was the hazelnut dacquoise the other day I found myself with four egg yolks kicking around and not a clue as to what to do with them. But then I found this awesome post by Food & Whine about what to do with leftover yolks. I plan to frame it and put it in my kitchen. Or at least bookmark it for later.
So I decided to whip up some lemon bars, lemon curd being probably my number one favourite sweet condiment on the planet. And I got the recipe from Squidoo, of all places.
It takes a bit of time to make lemon bars but none of it is particularly hard. So let’s begin.
Preheat your oven to 325°F and line an 8″ square pan with aluminum foil. I only had a round one, but that’s okay.
Separate 4 egg yolks from their whites, if you haven’t already done so.
In a food processor (that most amazing of kitchen machines), chuck 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons icing sugar. Process those for a minute or so.
Add in 10 tablespoons cold butter (that’s 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons, if that helps you to make it out) and pulse until the sugar is all disappeared.
Pour in 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and pulse that around again until you have a sandy crumb texture.
Pour that out into your prepared pan.
Use your fingers to press the dough into place on the bottom of the pan, and prick it with a fork so it doesn’t explode. These things do happen.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the dough is firm and the edges are golden. Don’t allow it to brown, because you’ll be baking it again and this is supposed to be a pale dessert. Then the crust is done, reduce the oven heat to 300°F.
While the crust is baking, you can make your curd.
Use a microplane file to zest 2 whole lemons. Then you want to get the juice from 3 whole lemons (you can use the ones you already zested).
Set a strainer over a small bowl near your stove.
In a medium-sized pot, plop your 4 egg yolks and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat until well combined.
Add in the lemon juice and 4 tablespoons butter.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature of the liquid reads 196°F, the curd is bright yellow and opaque, and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Just like that. Don’t allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle and you’ll have to start all over again.
Pour the mixture through you strainer and discard the little solid bits left in the strainer.
Stir in your reserved lemon zest.
Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan, then transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make sure the curd sets before you cut it.
Before serving, dust liberally with icing sugar and then eat your heart out.
Seriously, eat your heart out. They’re SO good.