Friday, March 7, 2008

A Touch of Spring!

I just can’t take this horrible winter much longer. Really, I don’t mind the cold weather, but if there is going to be cold weather then some significant amount of snow needs to be included in the package. This year in Maryland the winter weather has been terrible. Cold and rainy. That’s it. Maybe we have gotten 5 inches of snow this year total. We had some ice, but who likes ice. Right now, cold and rainy. Tomorrow, cold and rainy. Day after that, cold and windy!

Needless to say, I am dying for some spring. So, when I saw a beautiful package of blueberries at Trader Joe’s the other day I just had to buy them. I know, I know… they came from Chili, carbon footprint, etc. But I just couldn’t take the cold weather anymore. I needed to create some form of spring in the house and blueberries fit that bill.

The recipe for Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares has been in my pile of “recipes to make” for awhile now. In the past I rarely have lemon and limes in the house at the same time. But this week I was in business.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. Make and blind bake the crust first (Blind bake means to bake a crust without filling). Then pour in the filling and bake until set. Top with blueberries, bake a few more minutes, then cool in the fridge. It all worked at great, except that when I put the blueberries on top of the filling they didn’t stay on top as I would have liked. The filling was already set, so the berries just kind of rolled around. Next time I will put the blueberries on top earlier so that they can be pressed into the filling. The appropriate adjustments have been made to the recipe below, so you shouldn’t have the same problem.

So, did these squares give me hope that spring is around the corner? Sure did! They were great. Reminded me of lemon squares, not quite as tart, with the nice sweetness of blueberries on top. The key to making these great is fresh citrus. Yes, those little plastic containers of lemon and lime juice are easy to keep in the fridge, but if you don’t use freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice then I don’t guarantee the results. It truly makes all the difference.

Lemon-Lime Blueberry Squares, adapted from Gourmet Magazine

½ cup flour
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
6 tbs. confectioners’ sugar
½ teas. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tbs. all-purpose flour
½ teas. finely grated lemon zest
½ teas. finely grated lime zest
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
2 tbs. milk
Pinch salt
2 cups blueberries
3 tbs. apricot jam, warmed

Preheat over to 375 degrees

1. Line 8-inch square pan with 2 sheets of foil, overlapping them in opposite directions so that there is overhang on all 4 sides.
2. In food processor, pulse together flour, cornmeal, confectioners’ sugar, salt and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Press onto bottom of baking dish and 1-inch up sides.
4. Bake about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

While the Crust Bakes Make the Filling:
5. Whisk together eggs, sugar, flour and zests.
6. Whisk in juices, milk and a pinch of salt.

7. When crust has baked, pour in filling and bake 15 minutes.
8. Toss blueberries and apricot jam
9. Gently spoon berries over top of filling and bake an additional 4 minutes.
10. Transfer to baking rack and cool for about one hour.
11. Chill, covered for about 6 hours.

When ready to eat, lift dessert out of dish and cut into squares. Squares can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Anonymous said...

I don't know anyone who can say that those Lemon-Lime Blueberry squares don't look appetizing. They look delicious and I cannot wait to try them.


Anonymous said...

I made these for Easter dessert. Let me just state that it was still very tasty, good and more limey than those pictured (which I was fortunate enough to actually eat). It also was super easy to make and to cut. But I used a 9" square pan as I could not find an 8" pan at the store. Next time I would increase the filling as it wasn't enough to fill my 9" pan to the thickness I desired. Where's my calculator??