I had a lot of fun making this spin on the classic lemon bar for Project Pastry Queen this week.
Possibly too much fun.
Partly because champagne being a key ingredient inspired me to buy several bottles of champagne yesterday. There was breakfast pizzas all day long. There were heaping plates of prosciutto, figs, and cheese. And there was what felt like an unlimited supply of bubbly. It was a pretty fabulous day – but more on that, later.
I decided to start the bars last night, which was a great idea because – as I’ve found with many of the Pastry Queen recipes – they require a step where they need to be refrigerated for two hours or overnight. It’s a very simple recipe: all you need to do is make an easy pie crust bottom, bake it for a few, then make your lemon filling, and bake that overtop of the crust. The lemon filling is a bit more time consuming because it takes about 30 minutes to cook in total; you have to first let it thicken, then whisk in your chilled butter one tablespoon at a time – there are 12 total – and then let it thicken about 10 minutes more. The end result is a sweet, lightly lemony, pudding-like filling, with just the slightest hint of champagne.
I woke up this morning very excited, because today was the day I first got to use my new kitchen torch. I put Daniel to work on getting the butane all set up for me while I sliced my strawberries and laid them out over the dessert. I then covered them in an even layer of sugar, and got to work with the torch. I’d never used one before, and I was surprised to see that you had to really spend some time on each section of the dessert – I kind of thought one little motion would set the whole thing in flames. The sugar didn’t quite crystallize like I thought it would, and this may have been because there was too much moisture. I tried sticking them in the freezer for about 20 minutes, but there was still a layer of moisture laying on the top so I ended up just pouring it right off. The end result was a little messy – but undeniably delicious.
I then may or may not have eaten an entire vat of it for breakfast. And there may or may not have been a glass of champagne involved.