Friday, June 22, 2007

Lemons are big and beautiful lately. I find myself only making lemon desserts in the summer time when they're cheap and bursting with juice. Berries are also peaking, so this lemon mixed berry shortbread bar was a logical combination of the season.

3 cups berries (I used raspberries, small strawberries and blackberries)
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3 large eggs
Zest and juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup juice)

Rinse the berries under cold water and set in the strainer to drip dry. Preheat the oven to 400°. Combine the butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1 1/2 cups of the flour and blend together with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Pour the mixture into an ungreased nonstick spring form or cake pan and press down evenly to form a crust. Bake the shortbread crust for about 20 minutes, it should be light brown in color.

Remove the shortbread from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°. Scatter the rinsed berries evenly over the baked shortbread.

Beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow. Whisk in the lemon zest, the lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Pour the lemon mixture evenly over the berries and crust and bake until the lemon cream is set, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Chill for about an hour or two before serving.

Desserts (5)

Since I always use a square spring form pan, I cut mine into bars to serve at the cafe. But it would also make a pretty presentation if you used a more common 9 inch round spring form pan and cut it into slices.

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