Friday, April 5, 2013

Blood Orange Bars {Citrus Bars}

It can be said that I have an addiction to citrus. Although that can be said, I'd prefer to say I have a totally normal, non-creepy love affair with citrus. My husband is totally fine with that too , maybe because he likes everything citrus also, maybe because he thinks I'm a bit deranged and that he should stay on my good side. Whatever the case I bake and cook with lemon, lime and orange often. I came very close to making my tried and true lemon bars for Easter but at the last minute I changed my mind and went with my dear , dear sweet blood oranges. I ♥ them so! Blood oranges are my new favorite and the family all love them too.

 My mom has made lemon bars as long as I can remember. I love them and always have but it is hard to find a good recipe but I believe this one is near perfect. Often you find recipes that call for flour or sour cream and I feel that it muddies the flavor. I like the pure unadulterated lemon (or which ever citrus juice I use) zing. But the problem with the recipes that are without flour is they often don't set and become a runny gooey mess when you cut into them. Make sure you beat these with an electric mixer. They need to have some air beat into them for them to set properly. I found this out the hard way (more than once.)

It can also be said I'm like a Tasmanian Devil in he kitchen. This picture is proof of my messy baking skills.
Also my three year old destroyed my mesh strainer so dusting with powered sugar was a challenge.

Blood Orange Bars

{for crust}
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (at room temp)

{for filling}
4 eggs
1 cup sugar*
1 cup of fresh squeezed juice, strained (I used 1 lemon plus three blood oranges)
1-2 tbsp of zest (if possible)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a 9x9 pan with aluminum foil and spray with coking spray.
combine all ingredients for crust into a food processor and mix. It should look like sand. Press mixture into pan  making sure bottom is completely covered and as even as possible. Bake for 15-18 minutes until very lightly brown just around edges.While crust is baking combine all filling ingredients into a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for at least 3 minutes. I tend to go 5. (You can use a hand mixer if you don' have a stand mixer) Pour filling into crust and bake for 20 minutes or until filling is set and no longer jiggles. Let cool, cut and top with powdered sugar.

*you may want to consider upping the sugar by 1/3 of a cup for tarter fruit such as grapefruit or lemon.

Oh and I made these amazing cupcakes for Easter! Seriously follow the link and make them! LOVE that buttercream!

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