Saturday, March 10, 2012

Clementine Curd Shortbread Bars

So I apologize to the many who like my blog posts. I felt the wrath the other night from everyone. (I'm just joking, only one person mentioned something to me, PETE!) Thanks to Pete mentioning something I decided to jump back on the wagon and begin my back log of posts.
I have been cooking and baking since my last post, but haven't been blogging about it. I'm starting again.

Yesterday Dozer, my dog, woke me up at 4:50am. He was barking and howling, which is not normal for him. I think it may have been the coyote in the neighborhood that I heard howling earlier. Dozer's response was just a little delayed. None the less, I woke up earlier than I wanted. So, what do I do? I made shortbread bars. I had some clementine curd I made the other week that I really wasn't using. I figured this would be a great use of the curd before it goes bad.

Curd takes a little time to make, but it is quite tasty. So if you have the 30 minutes or so that it takes to make it, do it.

Recipe: Clementine Curd Shortbread Bars


For Curd:
6 Tbsp of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh clementine juice
1 tsp grated clementine zest

For Shortbread:
1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp Flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Make curd first. I suggest a day ahead or night ahead of time.

For Curd: 

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 2 minutes or until light, pale, and fluffy. While mixing, slowly add eggs and yolks. Beat the mixture for 1 minute before mixing in the clementine juice. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, because it’ll get smooth as it cooks and the butter melts.

Cook the mixture in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 20-25 minutes (lemon curd only takes 15, but I’ve found the clementine curd takes me longer), or until it’s thickening and it registers at least 170 degrees on a candy thermometer (I usually end up around 175 before I get it to the thickness I want). Just don’t let the mixture boil. Also, remember it’ll continue thickening as it cools and then chills, so don’t feel like you have to get it to its final thickness on the stove. When it’s done, it should leave a clean path on the back of a wooden spoon when you run your finger down it.

Remove the clementine curd from the heat and stir in the clementine zest. Transfer the mixture to a wide bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a film from developing. Place the curd in the refrigerate to chill it. Cover it tightly and keep if you about a week in the fridge or for about 2 months in the freezer.

For Shortbread Bars:

Line a 9×12 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving extra overhanging short edges to use to remove the bars after baking. 

Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and salt until just combined. Add the butter and cut in until blended.

Pour the mixture onto the parchment-lined baking pan and spread evenly. Use hands to press crust firmly down. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.

While it is still warm, pour the chilled clementine curd over the top and use a spatula to spread it evenly.

Bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the curd is set.

When cooled, use the parchment paper to pull the bars out of the pan. Use a flour sifter to sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, and cut into squares.


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