Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This week is not starting well. I'm trying to develop a low-fat dessert recipe, and Sunday's attempt failed, leaving me with 3 egg yolks to use up. I decided to add a yolk and make lemon curd, but found I didn't have enough fresh lemon juice. Luckily, I had some orange zest in the fridge and some frozen oj concentrate, which saved the day. That's why these are called "lemon-orange curd bars," instead of just "lemon curd bars." The crust on this dessert is fantastic (why not, with 2 sticks of butter?) and the topping really sets this off. These are definitely good, but I asked myself: do I want to waste my fat calories on a lemon dessert or on a chocolate dessert? If I'm going to eat fat, let it be chocolate. So, even though these are good and helped me use up my yolks, they'll be farmed out and I'll save my fat calories for some nice gooey chocolate dessert sometime in the future (soon I hope). P. S. The original recipe is on allrecipes.com; it's called "Lemon Curd Bars", submitted by Thea, and rated 5 out of 5 by 53 members. I did make some changes to it, but you can check out the original by going to allrecipes.com and searching for lemon curd bars.

Lemon-Orange Curd Bars
Rating: 6 out of 10
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour, scooped
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, scooped
1/2 cup confectioner's (10X) sugar
1-1/2 cups lemon curd, purchased or homemade**
2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds*
Preheat oven to 375F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed. Add flours and sugar and mix on stir speed until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Reserve about 1/3 of the crumbs for topping. Pat remaining mixture onto bottom of a 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes; remove; let cool slightly.
Add the coconut and almonds to the remaining crumb mixture. Spread the lemon curd over the baked layer. Sprinkle the topping over all. Place in oven; lower temperature to 350F and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and filling is bubbling around edges. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
* Toasted and chopped almonds: Place the almonds in a pie plate and bake at 375F for about 10 minutes. Cool. Place almonds in a resealable plastic sandwich bag. Pound lightly with a mallet or rolling pin to coarsely chop them.
**Easy Homemade Lemon-Orange Curd
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs or 4 egg yolks
In 1-1/2 quart heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and whisk till mixture comes to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, or till the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. The curd will thicken as it cools. The eggs will not curdle when the butter is added in with the other ingredients. You can also microwave this mixture; it will take less than 5 minutes. (If, for some reason, your curd does not set -- i.e., it's still a bit runny -- not to worry. Just add 1 or 2 Tbsp. flour to it, whisking well, and pour it over the baked crust.)

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