My little lavender plant is blooming, which is terrific because I’ve taken a shine to lavender in my treats.
I had just bought lemons to make lemon lavender ice cream, but then one of my favorite food bloggers posted a recipe for perfect lemon bars, so I scrapped the ice cream in favor of bars.
Her description of the bars she made nails it: these are nice and lemony without being either too sweet or too tart. I left my butter in fairly large pieces, which makes the crust both flaky and a little crispy. I used kosher salt, but if you’re one of those people who hates salt in your desserts, just leave it out.
If you’ve been thinking about something sweet for the weekend, stop looking and go with these. I promise you: citrus and lavender are a match made in heaven :)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on bars
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, from 3 large lemons
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 2 to 3 large lemons
1/3 cup half-n-half
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly grease the foil/parchment.
Stir together the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the pieces of butter and cut it into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until only pea-sized pieces of butter remain. Fold in lavender. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Refrigerate for ~20 minutes and then bake until light golden brown, ~20 minutes.
While the crust is cooking, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl. When you take the crust out of the oven, whisk in the lemon zest, juice and half-n-half and then pour immediately onto the warm crust (Mel says it’s important that the crust is still warm, and I trusted her!). Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F and bake for ~20 minutes until the filling feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool the bars to room temperature, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar and cut into bars.
Recipe adapted from http://www.melskitchencafe.com. I used unsalted butter, but added kosher salt to my crust, and mixed things less. I removed the salt from the filling, used half-n-half, and a little more lemon.