Sunshine on a Snowy Day – Raspberry Lemon Curd Bars

Sunshine on a winter’s day… Lemon bars drenched in tangy-sweet raspberry jam

I love chocolate – in every form, flavor, and dish. I love dark, white, and milk chocolate. Except for a weird, avant-garde chocolate bar infused with pepper (??), I can’t think of a chocolate creation I haven’t enjoyed. Almost neck-in-neck with chocolate are desserts made with lemon. The difference with lemon is that it not only has a wonderfully tart flavor, but it also has a strong seasonal connection to summer. One bite or sip of lemon brings me back to sunshine splashed afternoons and evenings cooled by gentle breezes sitting in our little piece of paradise behind our home in California among Meyer lemon trees. When we moved to Alaska, I even made up a gallon’s worth of Meyer lemon simple syrup in order to ease the separation from those prolific trees.

As we hit the middle of March, our minds drift toward Spring! In our former life, I would be itching to get the planting pots and garden beds ready. In Chignik Lake, I’m ready to pull the Pack Rafts out and head down nearby rivers. Mother Nature has had three little words in response to these inclinations…”Not. So. Fast.” All the snow we didn’t see this past winter has been just now swirling around our windows and creating lovely white drifts. Our lake iced over, started to thaw, and is now covered in ice again.

As Jack tends to his culinary diversion, a slow-cooked moose roast, I decide on my own diversion…one that will bring a little sunshine into our home. I took a tried and true lemon curd bar recipe from my Williams and Sonoma Baking Book and adapted it with items from my bush pantry. All I can say is Wowee! After the initial mix of sweet and tart lemon, you are rewarded with a blanket of pure raspberry bliss. A definite blast of summer, in the best way possible.

Raspberry Lemon Curd Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs (I used powdered eggs)
  • ½ cup lemon juice (I used good quality bottled lemon juice)
  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Topping

  • Raspberry jam (I used freezer jam which has a much brighter color and flavor)
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Make crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
  3. Grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
  4. Mix crust ingredients together.
  5. Press dough into bottom of baking dish.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Crust should be a pale golden color.
  7. Let the crust cool in the baking dish on a wire rack while you prepare filling.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F (165° C).
  9. Whisk together filling ingredients.
  10. Pour the mixture over the baked crust.
  11. Bake until filling is set, about 20 minutes. It may slightly jiggle when dish is shaken.
  12. Let lemon bars cool in the dish on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
  13. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Cut into 12 or 16 rectangles.
  14. Remove from dish with a spatula and place pieces to be served on a serving dish.
  15. Spoon desired amount of jam on each piece.
  16. Dust each piece with confectioners’ sugar right before serving.

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