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Strawberry Lemon Bars

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  • Strawberry Lemon Bars

    Strawberry Lemon Bars
    (Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Lemon Bar recipe)

    7/8 c all-purpose flour
    1/3 c confectioner’s sugar
    2 T cornstarch
    A pinch of salt
    6 T unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 in cubes

    Lemon Filling
    2 large eggs
    2/3 c granulated sugar
    1 1/2 T flour
    1/4 c lemon juice, from 2 lemons
    2 tsp lemon zest, from 2 lemons
    2 T milk
    A pinch of salt

    Strawberry Puree
    1 c chopped strawberries
    1–2 T granulated sugar, depending on how sweet the berries are

    Mix the chopped strawberries with sugar and set aside to macerate for about 30 minutes. I used about 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar.

    Add the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor. Blend the ingredients together for a few seconds to mix evenly. Then add the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture is pale yellow and looks like coarse cornmeal. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a fork, a pastry blender, or even your hands to cut the butter into the flour. Cook’s Illustrated recommended freezing the butter then grating it into the flour and using your hands to rub the pieces between your fingers.

    Line an 8x8 in baking pan with a sheet of parchment. Press the crust mixture into an even 1/4 in layer in the pan bottom and about 1/2 in up the sides. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    When you finish making the crust the fruit should almost be done. Blend the strawberries in a food processor (for a few seconds) or mash with a fork until there are no large chunks. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until thick. We need to cook out some of the moisture in the puree so it gets more syrupy. Set aside to cool.

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF and after the crust finishes chilling, bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

    You can prepare the filling while you bake the crust. Whisk the eggs, sugar, flour and salt in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Then whisk in the lemon juice, zest, and milk.

    Reduce the oven temp to 325ºF, pour the filling into the crust. Drop spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture on the surface. Use spoon or knife swirl/swish the strawberry puree into the filling.

    Bake for about 20-22 minutes, until the filling feels firm when touched lightly.

    Cool to room temp, dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.