Thursday, 6 June 2013

Lemon Pie Bars

I love anything lemon.  So when I found this recipe for lemon pie bars in my new favourite baking book, I had to try them.  The picture in the book makes them look cool and creamy and lemony and somehow best eaten in a kitchen where Billie Holiday is playing on an old radio.  They are all of that and more.  The only thing I will suggest is that after they have chilled in the fridge for an appropriate amount of time, make sure to cut them up and put them in a container or a beautiful plate.  I made the mistake last time of leaving them in the pan and cutting as I "needed."  I say it like that because I eventually just left the knife in the pan and found myself eating much more than the sliver I had promised myself.  You must share them or you are going to feel sick, not because they aren't good.  But too much of anything, even these aren't good for you.  Although if you are going to get sick on too much of some kind of sweet, this is the way to go.  This is lovely as a desert but also with tea, especially a good southern sweet tea.  Oh, and I do recommend that you put some Billie Holiday on while you make these, it makes them taste even better.

Lemon Pie Bars
Adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

For the Crust

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar

For the Filling

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
6 large egg yolks (save the whites and make an omelette for supper)

Preheat your oven to 350℉ and place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan and then line with parchment so that it hangs over the ends on the long ends.

To make the crust, mix the butter, sugar and graham crumbs together until moist.  Pour into your prepared pan and with the palm of your hand, press to make sure it is flat and compact.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden.  Cool completely.

Turn the oven down to 325℉ and get on with your filling.

In a large bowl combine the cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, condensed milk and the egg yolks.  Beat until thick and creamy.  Pour into the cooled pan.  Place the pan on top of a baking sheet filled with water and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the centre doesn't jiggle when you tap the pan.

Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour and then put into the fridge until cold.  Serve with whipped cream and tea of your choice.  Just don't forget a friend to share it with!

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