Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Lemon Crumble Bars

My neighbor downstairs, Chris, is moving out at the end of the month, and I told him I was going to bake him something once a week until he moves. I did confess to him that it's not just because I think he's a swell guy, but also because I have a pantry full of baking stuff I need to use up. Since it is now the 8th of May and I want to keep my promise to him, I started perusing the pantry this morning trying to figure out what to do with all the different flavored baking chips, chocolate bars, cocoa, nuts and extracts I have on hand. Nothing jumped out at me (thank God!!!) until I spotted a jar of lemon curd I bought last October in London at Fortnum & Mason. OMG...how could I have forgotten about this? I was so excited last year to go to F&M to buy some as I have many fond breakfast memories of crumpets and toast topped with melted salted butter and spoonfuls of thick, tangy Fortnum & Mason lemon curd. Not just lemon curd, but Fortnum & Mason lemon curd. I don't know how it got lost in the shuffle in my pantry, and I’m a little sad it hasn’t been consumed before now. Anyway, the time has come. Lucky for Chris, the “best before” date on the lemon curd is 10-May-07. Lucky for me, there is more than half of the jar left. Guess what I’ll be eating on my toast for breakfast for the next few days?

I'll report back on my critique of these later. They're baked, cooled and cut into bars, but I haven't tried them yet.

Update: These are fantastic and true to their name. They are lemony, crumbly and delicious. The crumbly brown sugar base dough has a nice flavor and adds just the right amount of sweetness to contrast the tart, chewy lemon curd filling. The almonds toast into crunchy goodness on top while baking. I'm glad I gave these away because I probably could have polished them off quickly. Chris liked them a lot, too. He thanked me in person, and he even called the next day to say, "Thank you again. You're a great baker". That made my day.

Lemon Crumble Bars

Source: Good Housekeeping 2002 Annual Recipes

A quick brown-sugar dough is made in the food processor and spread with some lemon curd and almonds for delicious, crumbly treats.

Makes 24 bars

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut up
1/4 cup whole natural almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup jarred lemon curd
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In food processor, with knife blade attached, blend flour, sugar, and baking soda until mixed. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer 1/2 cup dough to small bowl and stir in almonds; reserve.

Press remaining dough firmly onto bottom of ungreased 9” by 9” metal baking pan. In another small bowl, mix lemon curd and lemon peel; spread mixture over dough up to 1/4 inch from edges. Crumble reserved dough over curd.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into 8 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 3 bars.

Notes: I lined my baking pan with foil so these would be easy to remove from the pan. Use a long, serrated knife to cut these. Cut bars slowly and carefully.


Kristen said...

I hope I'm next on your baking list. I like brownies and muffins and chocolate. :)


Mindy said...

Yup, you're next on the baking list. I already know what I'm going to bake for you. :)