Monday, May 28, 2012

Lemon-Champagne Bars with Strawberry Brulee Topping from The Pastry Queen

This recipe is from one of my favorite recipe books, The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country's Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman

My husband really loves Lemon Bars so what better than to try making them myself with a little twist. I love my Pastry Queen cookbook, every recipe attempted ends up becoming an instant favorite. 

My "Pastry Queen" Cookbook
1 cup ( 2 sticks ) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jam (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375* F. Coat a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray. Using a mixed fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed about 3 minutes, until creamy. Add the flour, salt, and zest. Beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 1 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let cool about 10 minutes. Spread the jam evenly over the cooled crust. Turn the oven down to 350*.

Lemon Filling:
6 large egg yolks
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup champagne or brut sparkling wine
3/4 cup  ( 1 1/2 sticks ) chilled unsalted butter

To make filling, whisk the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and champagne in a large bowl set over a saucepan with 2 inches of simmering water. Cook about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Cut the cold butter into tablespoon-size pieces. Whisk the butter, one piece at a time, into the lemon mixture. Cook about 10 minutes longer, whisking occasionally. The mixture will thick and puddinglike.

Strawberry Brulee Topping:
1 pink strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup sugar

To make the topping: Slice the strawberries thinly and arrange them in a single layer on top of the lemon filling. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the strawberries. Use a kitchen torch to melt the sugar until it is brown and crackly; or put the bars under a hot broiler for about 1 minute, until the sugar melts and browns.

Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe at your own home. I used the strawberry jam in mine and they were delicious. Wondering how the raspberry jam would taste thought? Message me if you give it a try. 


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