I did it again............. I'm having a bad hair day, a real bad hair day! Those of you who know me well or have read the "Meet Chris" section of my blog know all about this problem. You see, I think that blow drying one's hair must be the most boring, tedious, monotonous chore on the face of this earth. At the same time, I like to look somewhat civil and I can't get away with letting my hair air-dry - if I don't dry it, I end up looking like a foo foo. So I do dry my hair daily, but I usually have a culinary magazine or a good book that I read to pass the time while I tend to my locks. Well, today I was looking through my latest issue of Bon Appétit and came across this most yummy sounding recipe for Lemongrass Lemon Bars. Perfect for Lemon Week! But I was so intrigued that I forgot about what I was supposed to be doing.......so, be happy, real happy, that I posted a picture of the lemon bars today and not a picture of myself! 🙂
I have never cooked with lemongrass before, but I took one whiff while I was chopping it and knew that it was the beginning of a new friendship! It smells unbelievable; citrusy and sweet at the same time. Lemongrass is a culinary herb that is used often in Asian cuisine, especially in Thai dishes. It is becoming more popular and easier to find in grocery stores. You can often find it in the fresh herb section.
The coconut shortbread crust pairs wonderfully with the bright lemony filling. I used a spring form pan rather than the 9x13 inch pan that the original recipe calls for. I think it makes a much prettier dessert and a more elegant presentation. We had family visiting tonight and I served it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. They gave it five stars - I have a feeling that your family will too!
P.S. If you can't find lemongrass substitue the zest of two lemons in it's place, the dessert will still be delicious!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter 13x9 inch metal baking pan or a springform pan.
3. Using electric mixer, beat flour, coconut, powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in large bowl until well blended. Add butter and beat on low speed until moist clumps form.
4. Press dough onto bottom and ½ inch up sides of pan.
5. Bake crust until golden, about 25 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, place sugar and lemongrass in food processor; pulse until lemongrass is finely ground, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice; process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add eggs; process to blend, 10 to 15 seconds. Add flour and pinch of salt; pulse until smooth.
7. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour filling over hot crust; bake until filling is firm 22 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
8. Cut into bars or wedges. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Adapted from March 2011 Bon Appétit