Life, as of late, has handed me plenty of gnarly, sour lemons. An internship that had I planned to turn into a full time position did not, and so I’ve once again become a recluse by force. That’s the funny thing about a job. When you have one, you’re making enough green to go out and spend it, but who has the time when you’re working 40+ hours a week? And when you do not have a job, you desire to be anywhere else but home for 24 hours a day, yet your pockets are empty.
There were a few days after receiving the bad news that I moped. Consecutively watched too many episodes of The Tudors (thanks, Netflix), protested my situation by wearing the same wife beater and underwear around the apartment for three days straight and spied on neighbors across the parkway. But there are only so many episodes, B.O. can be a bitch and the neighbs really aren’t all that interesting.
My situation is kind of like when you’re a kid and you try to climb up the slide via the chute, rather than the ladder. If you’re not wearing the right shoes or getting good leverage, you slump back down to the bottom. But even though you get your knees pretty banged up in the process, the feeling when you reach the top of the slide is that of exquisite joy at your accomplishment, your scrapes and bruises a testament to your victory. So despite all of the moping, it’s time for me to try climbing up the chute again. And although life is chucking lemons at me left and right, I’ll just sweeten them up a bit.
Homemade Lemon Bars
For the crust:
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Begin by making the crust. With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter and sugar, beating until just mixed. Grab the dough with floured hands, roll it into a ball, then press it into a 9×13 inch baking pan (a glass pan works best), pushing the dough up about a 1/2 inch on the sides. Chill for 20 minutes to an hour, then place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden color. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, with the whisk attachment of your electric mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour until combined (don’t beat too much or the bars will be tough). Pour over the cooled crust and place back in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar before eating.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten