Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lemon - Earl Grey Squares

So I know this sounds like a weird combo...but hear me out.

There are sooo many variations of lemon bars. I recently made these lemon bars on Memorial Day. I've even made key lime bars with a graham cracker crust. THOSE were good.

But I came across this recipe in my hoard from last summer. This Cooking Light recipe called for earl grey tea - both steeped and loose leaf - in the recipe. I was a bit hesitant, but what they hey...I like Earl and I like lemons - and I like lemon in my tea, so why not?

These lemon squares turned out surprisingly well. The lemon taste was much less tart than other varieties I've tried. The tea adds a bit of a creamy note to the bars. So if you're not a big fan of the overly lemony lemon bar, give this one a go:

TRT: 2 hours


Crust -
cooking spray
1 1/4 c flour
1/3 c. powdered sugar
2 Earl Grey tea bags, divided  - QUICK SHOUT OUT! I used David's Tea's loose leaf Earl Grey. It happens to be the best Earl Grey I've tried...creamier than your store-bought in a bag, can barely taste anything Earl Grey tea. This is the first tea I've bought from David's, but I'll definitely be going back for a few other varieties!

1/8 t. salt
8 T chilled butter, cut into pieces

Filling -
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. granulated sugar
2 T flour
1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. grated lemon rind
3 large eggs
1 T. powdered sugar.

Preheat oven to 350.

To prepare crust, line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with foil that extends 2 inches beyond sides; coat foil with cooking spray. Weigh or lightly spoon 5.6 ounces flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 5.6 ounces flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon tea leaves from 1 tea bag (discard remaining tea in bag), and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until lightly browned.

Look at all the flecks of tea!

To prepare filling, place juice in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 tea bag to juice; cover and steep 10 minutes. Squeeze juice from tea bag into bowl; discard tea bag. Combine granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and baking powder in a bowl. Add rind and eggs to juice; stir with a whisk until combined. Add sugar mixture to juice mixture; stir with a whisk until well combined.

Remove crust from oven; pour filling onto hot crust. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan by lifting foil. Remove foil; cut into 16 bars. Sprinkle bars with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar.

Boyfriend and I ate about half of the squares before I could snap a photo...oops :)

These squares were definitely an improvement from my last. I think I have a tendency to over-cook these bars - always in search of that solid middle - but these are supposed to be a little gooey!


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