Monday, May 30, 2011

Raspberry Lemonade Bars

After my previous baking disaster, I had to make a dessert fast. Something that I couldn't mess up quite as much, that I could make late at night, and that would keep well overnight. Being at least vaguely patriotic was a plus too, but not a requirement. A quick skim through my hoards of bookmarked recipes, and I found one for raspberry lemonade bars. I've made lemon bars a million times, so there was a pretty good chance of success, and there's something about raspberry and lemonade, it's a yummy and vaguely American combination! Sounds perfect!

 The one thing I forgot: I HATE zesting lemons. Hate hate hate. mostly because I hate this stupid, useless lemon zester. I REALLY want one of those fancy ones that look like little bitty cheese graters. They look like they might actually work, rather than giving you a useless glob of lemon grossness, leaving half the zest on the lemon, with twice the work. If anyone needs any ideas, Christmas IS coming...

But for as much as I hate that darn zester, I love this juicer. It works so much better than my standard squishing the lemon with your hands. I may have stolen it from my sister's roommate when she moved out. Maybe. But don't tell...

But wait, this is about the bars, isn't it? I managed to get raspberry juice EVERYWHERE. There was raspberry juice all over the counter, and the floor, and my jeans, and dribbles all the way up my arms, and I found it on the tops of my feet the next morning. Luckily I was wearing a berry-colored shirt, but it still looked like I killed someone. I finally looked at the pictures from the recipe, and...

used a rubber scraper like they did. SO much easier, and much less bloody-looking!

Once the raspberry juice was added, it was all the most gorgeous shade of berry! I tried, but I couldn't quite get a good picture of it, the lighting was terrible. I tasted it...hmm, too sour, not enough sugar. Wait a minute! Double checked the recipe, the filling doesn't have any sugar in it! I debated for a while, but I'm not known for sticking to a recipe the whole way. I tossed in a tablespoon or two of sugar, just to make it a little less lemon-y and more lemonade-y.

They were a little crackly on top when they came out of the oven. Not crunchy, over-baked, crackly, but more dried-out jelly kind of crackly. It was really weird. I sprinkled on the obligatory powdered sugar at the last minute, but no matter how much I sprinkled, they kept soaking it up! Hence no pretty picture of them finished, they weren't all that pretty. But you bet they were good! They were tart and summer-y and not too sweet and absolutely amazing. The crust was a little squishy, I would maybe swap it out for a less buttery crust, but that filling tasted like a fresh glass of raspberry lemonade! Happy summer!

Raspberry Lemonade Bars

For the Crust:
One stick plus one tbs butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Pinch salt

For the Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 egg whites
One egg
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
2 tbs lemon zest (2-3 lemons)
2/3 cup flour
Pinch salt
1-2 cups frozen raspberries, defrosted (I used sweetened because that's all the grocery store had.)
Powdered sugar

Cream butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer. Mix in flour until just incorporated. Flour hands and press dough into 8×8″ square baking pan, so that it comes up about a 1/2 inch around the sides. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
Whisk sugar, egg whites, egg, lemon juice and zest, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Pour raspberries into a sieve and press through to extract all the pulp and juices. Whisk into lemon mixture and pour into crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is completely set. Let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.

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