As she was growing up, Melissa Clark's childhood love for lemon bars came from a classic, kid-friendly cookbook, Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts Cookbook. These sweet-tart favorites of Lucy were most likely nibbled in between patients at her her psychiatric help booth and enjoyed by the entire Clark clan.
For In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite Clark has created a more refined version of her beloved lemon squares. The base of these Lemon Curd Squares with Rosemary is a thick, buttery, rich shortbread studded with flecks of aromatic rosemary and the lemon curd topping is a touch tarter than the norm. Lemon and rosemary are usually paired in more savory dishes (think roast chicken or leg of lamb) but in these squares the flavors match beautifully, clean and herbaceous, and just sweet enough to satisfy.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite to give away this week.
- For the Shortbread:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- For the Lemon Curd:
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- Pinch kosher salt
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
For the Shortbread: combine flour, butter, granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar, rosemary, and lemon zest in food processor. Pulse until crumbly dough forms, about eight to ten 1-second pulses. Press dough into prepared pan and bake until shortbread is golden around edges, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set on wire cooling rack. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.
While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon curd: In large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, and salt.
Carefully pour lemon curd onto shortbread base and return pan to oven. Bake until topping is set and toothpick inserted into center come out clean, about 20 minutes. Return to wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into squares. Cover and refrigerate bars up to 3 days. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Adapted from IN THE KITCHEN WITH A GOOD APPETITE by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2010. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.