Somewhere there's a book that says that Rachel's feast day is September 2. That's Rachel the matriarch, from the book of Genesis, wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin, the very woman I was named for. I don't know if the book was up to date, and I doubt it's proper Catholic practice to refer to those who died before the time of Christ as saints. But there's one thing I'm sure of: I have pictures of lemon bars, and I want to post them. So let's all celebrate my name day!
I like regular lemon bars, with their bland crust, lemony filling, and powdered sugar topping. Nothing against those. But these here lemon bars, with thyme in the crust for depth and ginger in the filling for zip-- these are scrumptious.
See below for the recipe. First you mix up all the crust ingredients:
And then press out the crust in a pan.
Bake the crust till the edges are golden.
Meanwhile, whip up some filling. You must own a microplane zester to get your lemon zest.
Now here's the fun part: pour the filling on top of the hot-from-the-oven crust, and hear the sizzle!
This is why I love baking. Non-bakers might eat the final product, but they miss these fun steps on the way.
Now you've got some leftover crust saved, and you sprinkle that on top. (The filling in this picture is still liquid, but it's turned white from some reaction with the hot crust.)
Bake the whole thing...
...and top with lemon glaze. I flick on the glaze with a fork, trying always to move in one direction. Some like to double the glaze and really coat the top.
Then you chop that thing into squares (removing some to test for quality assurance)...
...and they look like this!
Or better yet, like this!
And just before you gulp one down it looks like this!
2 cups flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. ginger (powdered)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
3-4 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix all the crust ingredients together. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture (about one cup) and press out the remaining mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned.
Combine the filling ingredients and whisk until blended. Pour over the crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Mix the glaze and drizzle it over the bars. It will set when the bars cool.