Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.

12.30.2004

Bar None!

Ok, the lemon squares? Absolutely delicious, and almost identical to ones my boss brought from a local gourmet deli when she was wooing me. Damned tasty.
And, because I love you all. Here's the recipe. (with some minor variations, because 1. I don't have a microplane grater, 2. I hate using the food processor, 3. I didn't have heavy cream on hand.)

Taken from the Cooks Illustrated book Baking Illustrated (which I highly recommend purchasing a copy of. It is well worth it.

Do not fear the amount of egg yolks in here. You only live once. Save the egg whites for breakfast for the next few days, and call it even.

Crust:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup 10X (confectioners) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

Lemon Filling

7 egg yolks (from large eggs) PLUS two whole large eggs (minus shells!)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup of finely grated zest (or less, or even much less if you have little patience and no microplane grater to make it easy to do. trust me, you won't die.)
1 pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole milk, because that's what I had)

Prep the pan:
Spray a 9" square pan with cooking spray. If you are befuddled like I am, over who in the name of god has a 9" square pan, you can put it in a 9" pie plate, which is what I did. If you use a square pan, line with parchment or foil use 2 pieces, each a little longer than the pan, so they'll stick up over the edges, so it's easier to get the bars out. If you use a pie pan, be sure it's deepish, and you should be able to line it with just one sheet. Spray the foil or parchment with more cooking spray.

Make the crust:

Sure, you can use the food processor, but why haul it out for 30 seconds? Mix the flour, sugar and salt together well in a bowl with a whisk. Using your cheese grater (spray it with cooking spray first) grate the butter (straight out of the fridge, don't soften it first) on the big holes, directly into the flour. Using a pastry cutter, a couple of forks, or your fingers, mix the butter into the flour till it looks like really coarse cornmeal. Pour the crumbly bits into the prepared pan, press firmly into one flat layer (don't go up the sides), and refrigerate a few moments to firm up the butter. Bake at 350 (325 if you use glass) for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling (WHICH MUST GO ONTO A WARM CRUST!)

The filling

In a medium non-reactive (non-aluminum) bowl whisk together your eggs and yolks until combined (about 5 sec), add the sugar and whisk again for another 5 seconds or so. Then add the lemon juice and zest, whisking about another 5 seconds. Put the lot into a nonreactive saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce just starts to thicken, and is 170 degrees on your instant read thermometer. Take it off the heat, and stir in the butter chunks until they disappear, then add the milk/cream. By now, your crust is done, or nearly so.

Again. MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE FILLING ON A WARM CRUST or it will slide right the hell off, and that would be disgusting.

Pour the filling onto the warm crust, and pop it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes. You'll know it's done when the center 3 inches or so are set, but jiggly. they'll finish baking out of the oven. (the marvel of heat transfer!) cool the bars until they're about room temperature then remove them from the pan (by lifting up the foil- handy, eh?) cut into squares using a thin sharp knife (wipe it off after every cut, and it'll cut cleanly) Top with confectioner's sugar and enjoy. :)

I'm keeping these in the fridge, because of all of the egg in there. Wicked tasty.

:)



3 Comments:

Blogger parcequilfaut said...

I have been eating the laziest cookies ever, the ones I started making back when I was adjudicated "old enough to use the microwave" but not yet "old enough to use the oven or stove" -- haystacks.

Chow mein noodles tossed with butterscotch, chocolate or a mixture of the two (ideally all three if you want enough cookies to eat for a week, and they don't have to be refrigerated!), slapped onto foil or wax paper, allowed to cool. And they're not really that bad for you, while being chocolatey and salty and all things good and laze-inducing.

Of course, I haven't been able to go to the real grocery in a week.

Death. By. Noodle.

9:43 PM  
Blogger luz de la luna said...

Those sound REALLY GOOD!!!! Where's mine? :p haha.

Well, have a happy new year and don't work anywhere too crazy this year :-D

Best wishes & haaaapy new year
- La Luna.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Ghost of Goldwater said...

Here's hoping you'll see the light in 2005 and finally become a Republican... muahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Enjoy the goodies, I've already stuffed my face with a Turkey dinner and a caramel pudding dessert over here.

5:03 PM  

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