07 July 2008

Delicious Blueberry Lime Bars

As many of you know, it is officially berry season in the Midwest. Everywhere I turn there are blackberries, blueberries, currants and cherries waiting to be used. In fact, I happen to have some of each of them in my refrigerator awaiting a starring role in a dish. I hope to make jam this week; although, it will be challenging with our upcoming family Hog Roast. The blueberries have tasted especially good to me lately, so I keep buying them and eating them out of hand. This weekend, however, I saw a sign up at the farmer's market that said "ask us about our overripe blueberries". Since I am so adept at following instructions, I did ask them about their overripe blueberries - and bought an overflowing quart of them. The blueberries are soft and definitely overripe, but they are perfectly tasty for baking if you ask me (and much cheaper than firm berries). I knew I had several recipes in mind for berry-baking, so I was excited to find them.

The inspiration for the Blueberry Lime Bars came from a lovely blog I recently discovered called Eggs on Sunday. The photographs on this blog are breathtaking. I wish I could master the art of food photography like Amy. Instead I will just be jealous of her skills and continue to read up on her experiences in the kitchen. The post where she featured her Strawberry Lemon Bars was especially beautiful - it was an entry in honor of cancer survivors. I haven't been affected nearly as much as Amy or other people, but cancer has definitely touched my life. It was a beautiful post - and had a delicious recipe included as a bonus. Thank you Amy for inspiring these Blueberry Lime Bars!

(As an aside - this was my first experience making a custard based dessert. It was much easier than I anticipated! I plan on experimenting with more custard desserts in the future since I always have so many left over egg yolks from my egg white scrambles!)

Strawberry Lemon Bars (Adapted to create Blueberry Lime Bars)

From Delicious Fruit Desserts by Dot Vartan


For the crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened

For the filling
3 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon (I used the zest of 2 limes)
1/4 cup lemon juice (I used lime juice)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh diced strawberries (I used 1 cup fresh blueberries)

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer), use the paddle attachment to beat the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and butter together at medium speed until blended. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of an 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or just until turning golden brown. Remove and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk. In a separate small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it gets thick and the whisk leaves a trail, about 5 minutes. (This part took longer for me - probably because I was using an electric stove... maybe more like 10-12 minutes.) Remove the lemon custard from the heat; if you like, you can cool it down a little by placing it in a bowl and placing that bowl in an ice-water bath.

Add the diced strawberries to the lemon custard and stir gently just to combine. Pour the custard onto the crust, spread it out evenly in the pan with a silicone spatula, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set.

Cool completely before cutting into squares. You can dust them with confectioner’s sugar if you like, but I like to leave them as is so you can see the pretty ruby red bursts of strawberry.

Makes 16.


Our Girl Blue said...

Just wanted to say hi - I found your blog through my daily routine of blog-hopping and was intrigued by your blog title - my hubs and I have a Great Dane (just 1 for now, hopefully another soon) and I love to cook, so I'm happy to have found your site!

Erika W. said...

Josie, those look fantastic- I love the idea of blueberries in a bar cookie. I'm waiting for my call that the blueberries are in...any day now!

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

These look so incredible, and I love the idea of pairing blueberries and lime. Maybe it will cool off here enough that I can turn the oven on to make these before blueberry season is over...
or you could mail me some...



Maggie said...

My name is Maggie Gordon and I'm the new intern at cookinglight.com. I wanna write a piece for our blog about some of our loyal BB posters who also have their own food blogs. I was wondering if you might be able to email me (maggie_gordon@timeinc.com) so I can ask you some questions about your site, etc.


Josie said...

our girl blue - your dane is so adorable! It takes a special (crazy :)) person to own a Great Dane :)

Erika- hopefully you have your berries by now. I have another pint in my fridge awaiting some recipe...

Vicci- I don't think the custard would mail well, but I would happily visit your awesome looking house in the woods and bake some for you :)

Maggie- I will send you an email, thanks for stopping by!

Teresa said...

These look awesome! I was looking for a recipe to take to a party this weekend. I think I'm going to have to make these tonight as well ... just to see how they turn out, you know. ;-)