The third recipe I made from Nick Malgieri‘s new book, Bake!, was chosen by Kayte for our Twitterbake. As she is a fan of all things lemony, I wasn’t surprised when she chose the Lemon Crumb Bars on page 196.
These bars consist of three parts — dough, custard, and crumb topping — but each one is simple to make, and the whole thing comes together quickly. I started by making the Sweet Pastry Dough on page 14, which is the same dough we used for the Old-fashioned Sweet Potato Tart recipe last week. After mixing up the dough in the food processor, I wrapped it and put it in the refrigerator until baking day.
When it came time to bake, I prepared the pastry dough. I kneaded the dough on a floured board to soften it a bit, then rolled it out to a rectangle slightly larger than the size of the pan. I folded the dough, transferred it to the pan, unfolded it, and pressed it into the pan. Then I put the dough in the refrigerator to chill while I made the crumb topping.
The crumb topping came together very quickly. It consisted of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter, which were mixed together, then broken into small crumbs.
I baked the crust and crumb mixture until the crust was set and slightly browned and the crumbs were a deeper, golden brown. While they were cooling, I mixed up the lemon custard, which contained eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar. I poured the lemon custard into the baked crust, then put it in the oven. After 15 minutes, I took the pan out of the oven and added the crumbs. Then I put it back in the oven to finish baking for five minutes.
After the bars cooled, I removed them from the pan. Unlike most lemon bars, they appeared to be mostly crust and crumb, with very little custard. Once I cut them, I could see the lemon custard layer, but it still appeared much thinner than other lemon bars.
As simple as these bars were to put together, they were absolutely delicious. The pastry layer was slightly sweet and crunchy. The lemon custard was tart and sweet, but not overpowering. And the crumb topping could almost have been a dessert in itself. I would have liked a little more lemon custard, and I think the next time I make them I will double the custard layer.
And, oh yes, I will definitely make them again.