Spring has Sprung with Luscious Lemon Bars

22 Mar

Spring is such a tease. Honestly. Vancouver will clear it’s rainy skies for about an hour or so, to let the sun shine and warm the  earth, only to continue to raining after. It is almost warm when that big ol’ sun is out! I am about to lose it with all this cloudy, miserable, mucky rain stuff. My mood is not the best these days, with last minute assignments, lab exams, and a return from that dang cold, and the rain is not helping. I just want to lie on the beach in the hot sun, with waves splashing around me, and no work or worries…like my family, who are all in Hawaii right now. Ya. I cry.

It's like a big sun...here to brighten your day

These bars are superb! Like, over the top good. I usually only eat chocolate, but I am now allowing fruit to enter my realm of desserts because of this. These bars, which I turned into a cake/pie/tart, are very rich and creamy, with a luscious hit lemon. They are tart, but balanced with the sugary graham crumb crust and smooth cream cheese texture. I have never made lemon curd, but oh man am I glad I did because it tops these bars/tart/pie/cake off perfectly. This dessert screams spring to me, and for now, this will have to tied me over.

diggin' in

This would make a perfect desert for easter, or for an early spring birthday. It is still quite rich, so it would be a nice alternative for the non-chocolate lover in your life. I adapted the lemon curd from Mommie Cooks. The rest of the recipe is my own.

Luscious Lemon Bars

 Crust

  • 1/2- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • rind from one lemon
Cream Cheese Layer
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of one lemon
Lemon Curd Layer
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 3 large lemons
  • 3 tbsp butter
Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Either grease a square 11×11 baking pan or a 9 inch spring foam pan, depending on whether you want to make bars or slices. 
In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and lemon rind. Add butter and thoroughly mix in until all crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into the bottom of your pan of choice, creating an even layer to the edges. Bake crust for 8 minutes, then remove and cool.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese for a few minutes until very soft. Slowly add in whipping cream and beat until  fluffy. Incorporate sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat for several minutes longer until texture is smooth and pourable. Pour mixture on to cooled crust, spread evenly, and bake for 30 minutes until edges are golden and middle is still jiggly.

Turn off oven and keep oven door open. This helps prevent any cracking from the shock of changing temperatures.  After ten minutes, transfer cheesecake to counter and cool for thirty minutes, and an hour or two more in the fridge.

While cheesecake cools, make lemon curd. Whisk together the lemon, eggs, and sugar. Heat over a double boiler and keep whisking the lemon mixture. Once the mixture takes on a consistency below pudding. Remove curd from heat and add butter in tablespoon chunks. Pour mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl. The sieve will catch any lemon bits. Place curd in fridge and cool for an hour.

When curd and cheesecake and cooled, pour curd on top of cheesecake layer. Smooth evenly. Garnish with whipping cream or confections sugar.

Lemon curd just blankets the cheeseckae!

Slice and enjoy!

xx.

 

 

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