Puja's pictures made them look so delicious and pretty - I could hardly wait!
I thought they would be the perfect match with the Chicken Caesar Sandwiches I made. With lemon zest in the crust and a mix of strawberry and lemon in the custard - they would be lovely and fresh.
I was actually very excited to make these because it meant that I got to finally use the dough blade that came with my food processor! (Something I don't get to do very often)
In the bowl of the food processor, combine the flour, salt, and icing sugar.
Then cut the butter into little pieces.
Add the lemon zest to the food processor bowl.
Then add the butter a little bit at a time and process until well mixed and a dough starts to come together.
Press the dough into a 9 inch square pan lined with parchment paper. I had to use an 8 inch square pan because I don't have a 9 inch square pan!
Oops. I guess I know what pan I'm buying next!
Refrigerate the base for 20 minutes.
In a 350 degree F oven, bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
As for the filling - I had a question about the strawberries in the ingredient list.... I left it for too long to ask Puja and she didn't get a chance to get back to me soon enough so I had to guess.
This was TOTALLY my fault!
I had no idea what to do, so I pulled the reddest strawberries out of the package, cut off the tops and hulled them using a vegetable peeler.
The recipe says to measure 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, packed, chopped. I had some sort of brain fart and couldn't figure out if I should measure them whole or chop them up and measure them.....
I'm a dork.
So I measured them whole and then gave them a rough chop.
Just so you know - Puja says to measure them after they've been chopped.
Anyway, put the strawberries into the bowl of a food processor with the sugar and blend until mixed.
Add the flour and mix again.
Add the egg and lemon juice and mix again. Make sure there are no lumps.
I decided just to add in the lemon zest at this point to avoid getting another bowl dirty.
Pour over the golden brown base and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes.
Here's where I ran into trouble. At 30 minutes, it totally didn't look done. The center was REALLY liquidy and I had no idea if I should pull it out at that point or not...
So I continued to bake. And bake. and bake.
For a whole hour.
I was seriously running behind. The recipe says to cool to room temperature - I didn't have time to cool completely.
Then the recipe says to chill for 4 to 6 hours - I think it was in there for 2 or 3....
The results were VERY pleasing!
Although they didn't come out looking like Puja's - they tasted just like I imagined they would.
Bright and fresh and tart - we were very impressed!
Here's what I would definitely do next time. Bake the bars in a 9 inch square pan - not an 8 inch.... Bake for 30 minutes and remove - I'm guessing the bars will set. Chill completely and refrigerate for Puja's recommended chill time.
They were definitely a delightful treat.
Thank you Puja!
PS - they were a pain to photograph!
This is the Cane girl - signing off.
Pink Lemonade Bars
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
a pinch of salt
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
2/3 cup all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside
- Combine the flour, salt, and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached. Pulse to combine.
- Add the lemon zest and the butter pieces a little at a time and pulse until a loose dough starts to form.
- Dump the dough into the pan and press down lightly and evenly to form a base.
- Cover and refrigerate the base for 20 minutes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 22 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- In the food processor bowl with the cutting blade attached, puree the strawberries, add the sugar and puree until combined.
- Add the flour and pulse to combine.
- Add the egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice and pulse to combine, making sure there are no lumps.
- Pour the strawberry mixture over the base and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
- Cut and serve.