I recently made the lemon bars found in the Tartine cookbook which has many wonderful baked items. Tartine is a well known and fantastic bakery in San Francisco and they have some very tasty items. I had the pleasure of visiting once and cannot wait to go back.
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup + 2 TBS lemon juice
- I small lemon, zest, grated
- 6 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter a 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
To make the crust, sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the flour and stir to mix. Add the butter and pinenuts (if using) and beat on low speed just until a smooth dough forms.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. To help even out the crust, use the flat bottom of any type of cup, pressing down firmly. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake the crust until it colors evenly to a deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees if the crust appears to be baking unevenly.
While the crust is baking, make the filling: Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until blended. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to dissolve the sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk with the salt.
Kitchen notes: Whisking eggs with salt helps to denature (relax) the protein in the eggs and breaks them up more quickly and thoroughly. Do this whenever you need to whisk eggs thoroughly and there is salt in the recipe. You can also do this if you are making an egg wash.
Add the eggs to the lemon juice mixture and whisk until well blended.
When the crust is ready, pull out the oven rack holding the crust and pour the filling directly into the hot pan. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees and bake just until the center in no longer wobbly, 30-40 minutes.
Let cool completely on a wire rack, then cover and chill well before cutting. If you like, dust the top with confectioners sugar after chilled.