It is 103 degrees in Westport.
Too hot to eat, too hot to cook, but I have a fridge full of lemons, that big batch of sour cherry jam (read below), too many eggs, and a sweet tooth. Earlier I was craving lemonade, so I had a brainstorm: Lemon Bars! Then I had another Brainstorm- use some of the jam. So as they say in that commercial: “two great tastes”!
I bring you the improvisation of the day.
Make your favorite Lemon Bars according to directions. When they are completely cool, take about 3/4 cup of your homemade sour cherry jam (or a store-bought equivalent, (even if its blackberry, or blueberry, or apricot), melt the jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds, till it is spreadable, and “frost” the lemon bars with the cherry jam. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar from a shaker or a sifter.
Don’t have a favorite Lemon Bar Recipe? Feel free to use mine (or actually Alice Medrich’s)
Very Tangy Lemon Bars
from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained
Preheat oven to 350. Line the inside of an 8×8 baking pan with foil or parchment,
To make the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is very brown at the edges, and lightly browned all over.
While the crust is baking, make the topping: Stir together sugar and flour. Whisk in the eggs. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until combined.
When the crust is baked, open oven door, and pour filling into the pan over the hot crust, turn oven down to 300, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until center no longer jiggles. Let cool completely in pan before slicing.
Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.