my parents came to our new home for dinner last weekend. it was the first time we had entertained since moving in, and it went quite well! the plan was to keep food simple so we could focus on the visit. brian and dad had some yard work to do because we had a huge branch snap off of a peach tree. it was sad seeing a hundred or so peaches go to waste like that. it appears as though there will be plenty more later on this summer, though. the tiny grape sized fruits are already starting to blush from bright green to light yellow.
after the dudes were done playing with the saw in the back yard, we got on with the dinner. i made sautéed giant shrimp, mushrooms, and asparagus and with a lemon pecorino sauce served over crispy roasted potatoes and bacon. it was delicious. in fact, it was so delicious i wish i were eating it right now.
for dessert i wanted to make something equally seasonal and fresh flavored, so i went with lemon bars. the recipe is based on one i found a few months ago on this website, which i visit daily. it had been on my mind for a few months now, but i knew i wanted to wait until spring for this fruity, sour treat. they were amazing, and super easy to make. the cookie crust was slightly lemony with a sweet, just nutty crunch. the lemon curd was perfect, and i can not brag enough about how well it turned out. all of the feedback i got was more than positive, except for my friend josh who announced that they were “lemony beyond lemony”, which could actually be a compliment by his standards.
this recipe is based on the one on nourishing gourmet. i did alter it, and the recipe shown below reflects my changes.
these are very user-friendly, so don’t let the curd scare you off. i would think anyone would have all of these ingredients on hand, and i’m certain the recipe could be toyed around with for fun and fancy versions.. i’m thinking strawberry curd? crumb topping? roll with it, people.
the curd should be made after the base is cooling, otherwise the curd will soak into the base.
sour lemon bars
ingredients for the bars:
1 cup almonds
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (butter could be used)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest
preheat oven to 400f. place racks in center of oven. prep 9 x 9 glass baking dish by coating with butter or oil.
combine melted coconut oil, honey, eggs, and zest in a large bowl with a whisk until well combined.
in food processor, combine nuts and salt together until they form a dry, crunchy flour. not too long, or you will form a nut butter.
add in liquid ingredients and pulse a few times until it is just combined. don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the processor bowl to blend in any ingredients that may cling to it.
pour batter into baking dish, bake for 12-18 minutes. -until edges become golden brown. i like to use clear glass when baking so i can watch the bottom for burning, too. a toothpick inserted into the center should come out fairly clean with a few crumbs sticking to it.
cool for at least a few hours before pouring in curd.
ingredients for the curd:
1/3 cup honey
zest of one organic lemon
1/2 cup of lemon juice
6 tbsp coconut oil or butter
whisk first 3 ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat, until light in color. remember, you don’t want to be making scrambled eggs here, so low and slow is the key here.
add coconut oil, whisk for a few seconds until melted, then whisk in lemon juice.
cook over medium heat whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and a few bubbles rise from the mixture.
remove from heat immediately after you see your first few bubbles, and pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, pushing mixture through. discard pulp in sieve.
stir the curd that is now in the bowl. allow it to cool for just a few minutes before pouring over cooled lemon bars.
let it all sit in the fridge for a few hours to set up. cut into bars. you can make many, or a few. i served them huge for my family, then cut the leftovers into itsy-bitsies to serve them at a party the next day.
curd will get stiff in the cold, but will gel pretty soon after sitting at room temp for a while. -so be careful with how you store them. they taste best straight out of the refrigerator, but are amazing any way you serve them. i declare that they would make an excellent, healthy breakfast choice.