Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Margarita Bars

I have been on a curd kick lately. This stems from my quest to make perfect macarons. So, every weekend I separate 7 eggs to get the whites for cookies and then have to find something to do with the yolks. I have made Lemon bars, Cranberry bars and this weekend it was Margarita bars. I took the recipe I had for Lemon bars and used lime juice instead adding some tequila and Grand Marnier. I didn't have a 9x9 pan so used an 8x8 pan instead, the bars came out a bit too thick. They were tasty, but just a bit heavy on the crust.

Margarita Bars (adapted from Baking Illustrated)

Lemon bar crust recipe
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more to decorate the finished bars
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 1-inch pieces

Lemon bars filling recipe
7 large egg yolks, plus 2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2
tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon Tequila
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Juice from 7-8 limes, plus 1/4 cup finely grated zest
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream

1.Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 16-inch pieces of foil or parchment paper lengthwise to measure 9 inches wide. Fit 1 sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan (overhang will help in removal of baked bars). Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a food processor and process briefly. Add the butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second pulses. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes.


1. In a medium non-reactive bowl, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and whisk until just combined, about 5 seconds. Add the lime juice, liquor and zest; whisk until combined, about 5 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a medium non-reactive saucepan, add the butter pieces, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency and registers 170°F (76°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the curd through a single-mesh stainless steel strainer set over a clean non-reactive bowl. Stir in the heavy cream; pour the curd into the warm crust immediately.

2. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares, wiping the knife clean between cuts as necessary. Sieve confectioners' sugar over the bars, if desired.

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