One more post about my Mother's Day brunch. I saw a slideshow on FoodNetwork.com of Mother's Day dessert suggestions. As far as I know, brunch doesn't typically include dessert, but I've never been accused of being typical, and I never pass on dessert!
I didn't want to make a cake (I was making so much food already; baking and frosting a cake was too much work). I didn't want something dense and rich like a cheesecake.
I chose lemon bars for dessert for their light texture and spring flavor that went perfectly with the rest of the brunch menu. Sliced into small squares, they are a perfect end to a meal.
The filling for these bars is intensely lemon-flavored. If I make them again, I'd probably increase the sugar in the shortbread crust a bit, to balance the tart filling. Or possibly use Meyer lemons for the filling, which have a sweeter taste than regular lemons.
Tip: to get clean slices, run a knife under very hot water, wipe dry and slice while the knife is still hot. Repeat between every slice. This trick also works for cheesecake.
Ina Garten's Lemon Bars
Source: Food Network
- ½ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 large lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then combine with the butter mixture at low speed, just until evenly distributed.
- Scrape dough out into a 9x13 baking dish and press the dough into an even layer and half an inch up the sides of the dish.
- Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes or just until lightly browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- While the crust is cooling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and the flour until evenly mixed. Pour over the cooled crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
- Cut into your shape of choice (squares, triangles or diamonds), then sift confectioners sugar over the top in an even layer.