Wednesday, March 16, 2011
SXSW is going on down here in Austin. That means thousands of artists, writers, film people, musicians and foodies of all types are here learning like crazy.
Except me. I’m here without one of those thousand plus dollar tickets.
Ah, but that’s fine for this year. I’m enjoying it all vicariously for free through the local newspaper and bands playing in bars and on sidewalks. I have to admit, I’m a touch jealous. Alright, I'm insanely jealous. There are some very cool food blogger topics I don’t get to be a part of. Plus, there’s a secret dinner in a secret location with secret chefs I'm dying to go to.
No dice. Not this year. However, as tickets are way cheaper ahead of time I’ll be in the middle of the action next year, absorbing into my brain everything there is to learn.
Instead, I’m on vacation and I love Austin. Fresh amazing food, cool city and lots of art type people who play outside all the time. It feels like I fit right in for a change. At home I’m sort of the foodie-artist-photographer-oddball.
Maybe I was Texan in a past life.
These lemon bars come from the talented multitasker medical student by day, amazing cook by night Joanne from Eats Well With Others. She adapted them from Smitten Kitchen. I didn’t adapt them at all. They were thick and luscious without my help.
Unfortunately they were so thick and lemony and luscious, I had to hide the batch in my refrigerator behind bottles of beer and hot sauce. Refusing to eat the pan by myself, I repeated over and over, “There are no lemon bars in the fridge”.
It didn’t work. However, I did leave town before they were gone. So in a way, I won.
Meyer Lemon Bars
Remember to bake the crust first. I nearly screwed up that part. Of course, I also had a lot of packing on my mind. I'm sure you'll do better than me and read the instructions first. Right?
For the crust:
1/2 lb butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)
1 cup flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. For the crust, cream together the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter and beat just until mixed. Put the dough on a well-floured board and form into a ball. With floured hands, flatten the dough into the baking pan. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.
4. For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into squares or triangles. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Makes 24 bars.
Recipe via Joanne from Eats Well With Others. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Picture by Laura Flowers.