It was a dreary, rainy Friday—the start of another long weekend of rain. But I turned on all the lights, put on some music and fired up the oven.
I lined my pan with foil so I could lift out the finished bars and cut clean edges (and maybe eat some of the bits I cut off).
Butter, sugar and flour go into the food processor. Give it a whir until it looks like sand, pour it in the pan and pat it flat.
Put that in the oven to cook and make the lemon-lime topping. Lemon because it’s traditional and lime because it adds another layer of flavor.
Put sugar and flour in a bowl and add the zest of two limes and a lemon and stir it well.
In another bowl, put four eggs and the juice of the lemon and limes. Start whisking. I read somewhere once that one needs to whisk eggs forty times in order to fully incorporate them. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems like a good number and I always get a smooth blend when I do.
When the base is cooked, I take it out of the oven. Then I whisk the egg/juice mixture with the flour, sugar and zest until it is well combined.
I carefully pour it over the base layer, pouring it over the back of a large spoon to help it disperse so it doesn’t make a hole in the still-soft base.
Back in the oven for another 20 minutes. By the time I clean up it’s done. The top is set and doesn’t wiggle when I shake it.
The rain has stopped so I go for a walk while the lemon-lime bars cool.
Returning to the house, I discover the top has cracked. This sometimes happens when it cools. Unless there are a lot of cracks or the San Andreas fault has opened up in lemon-lime topping, you will be able to cover it with powdered sugar.
I use the edges of the foil to remove the bars from the pan and peel them away from the sides. Then I cut away the uneven edges, leaving a perfect (almost) rectangle.
A cut in half and half again width-wise and in thirds by length and I have 12 lovely bars.
Using a sieve I powder them with sugar and pack them up to go home with you.
I hope you like them
P.S. What do I get for a chocolate cake?
- 1 cup butter
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 2 limes
- 1 lemon
- 4 large eggs
- Pinch of salt
- Confectioner’s Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 13X9” pan with foil.
- Pulse the butter, 2 cups of flour and ½ cup sugar in the bowl of a food processor until it looks like coarse sand. Press this into the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes until lightly browning on the sides.
- While the base is cooking, prepare the filling. Mix together the remaining 1 ½ cups of sugar, ¼ cup flour and the finely grated zest of the limes and lemon and a good pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the juice of the lemon and limes. Add the eggs and juice to the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended. Carefully pour the filling over the back of a large spoon onto the cooked base.
- Return the pan to the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the topping is set.
- Cool completely, cut into bars and dust with confectioner’s sugar.