One huge benefit of having a bunch of foodies for friends is that I tend to try recipes I would normally pass over. I saw these Lemon-Cranberry Pie Bars in the November issue of Food & Wine Magazine and didn’t think much of them. Then a friend, who is a “Black Belt Baker” made them not once or twice, but three times because they were so good.
That was all of the convincing I needed to give the recipe a go.
I’m so glad I did.
The pie bar filling is a thick lemon curd swirled with puréed cranberries. Its tangy flavor contrasts wonderfully with the crisp, buttery crust.
1 cup cranberries
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
Baked Press-In Crust (recipe follows)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a saucepan, simmer the cranberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar and water over moderately low heat until the berries pop and the liquid thickens, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Strain and press the purée through a fine sieve set over a bowl and let cool completely.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar with the eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.
4. Mix 1 cup of the lemon filling into the cranberry purée; pour the rest of the lemon filling into the crust. Swirl in the cranberry-lemon mixture.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set. Transfer the pan to a rack; let cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve. The bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Baked Press-in Crust
10 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. n the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the sugars at medium speed for 2 minutes.
2. With the mixer at low speed, beat in the sifted flour-and-salt mixture.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on the 2 long sides.
5. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the sides. Use the heel of your hand or cover the dough with plastic wrap and press with the bottom of a measuring cup. Take care that the corners are not too thick. Refrigerate until firm.
6. Bake the crust for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown; halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon to smooth the sides and corners of the crust. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.
Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine
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