Happy Valentine’s Day! Erik and I just finished a feast and I’m writing this as I’m about to slip into a food coma powered by Schitt’s Creek on the couch. We ordered cook at home hot pot and it was perfect – lots of delicious food, a fun thing to do. Highly recommend. If you’re in the DC area check it out – Fat Choi Hot Pot.
Also in the Valentine’s Day trend, Erik has been talking about how much he loves lemon bars for weeks now, and I thought it was probably a good time to make him some. These are a bit different from other versions on the blog – they include some olive oil and sea salt – and they’re small batch, because COVID.
To make them small batch, I used my new favorite trick – take a recipe for a 9×9 pan, cut it in half, and make it in a loaf pan. Now you have a manageable number of bar cookies for two people!
Start by making the shortbread base. In a food processor, pulse the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Press into the bottom of a 5×9 loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake the base at 325°F for 25 minutes, until lightly golden. While it’s baking, make the custard.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, eggs, yolks, cornstarch and salt over medium heat until it begins to boil. Allow to boil for 30 seconds to thicken, then strain into a bowl.
Whisk in the butter, olive oil and lemon zest.
When the shortbread is done, pour the lemon mixture over it and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until just set. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
Once chilled, remove from the pan and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and sea salt. Cut into bars.
That’s it! We’re keeping these in the fridge in an airtight container. They’re making Erik very happy.
You can tell he’s happy because his eyes are closed. Oh wait, that’s every picture.
Small Batch Lemon Olive Oil Bars
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (52 grams) flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (12 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 teaspoons (2 grams) cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and salt.
- Add the butter and pulse until a dough starts to come together.
- Press the dough into a 9×5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- While shortbread crust is baking, make the curd. In a small saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, granulated sugar, egg, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Continue to boil for 30 seconds, then strain into a medium bowl.
- Whisk in the butter, olive oil and lemon zest. When the shortbread crust is baked, pour the lemon mixture over the top and return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until just set.
- Cool completely at room temperature before chilling in the fridge. Once chilled, dust with confectioners sugar and sprinkle with sea salt and slice into bars.