Sunday, March 22, 2015

Perfect for Spring: Lemon Bars

There is a terrific bakery called The Ovens of Patagonia in the town of Patagonia, Arizona, that sells fabulous lemon bars. Patagonia is a beautiful community of about 800 - 900 folks. It is located 4,000 feet above sea level between the Santa Rita Mountains and the Patagonia Mountains. The area is a mecca for bird watchers and home to famous authors like Jim Harrison and Phil Caputo. It is, however, a bit to far away to satisfy my lemon bar longings. And so, inspired by The Ovens of Patagonia, I did what so many have done before me. I turned to Google.

And what I eventually found on Google is an excellent recipe by Jennifer Segal at her web site, Once Upon a Chef. This delicious recipe reproduces the great taste I recall from my Ovens of Patagonia experience.

I follow Segal's recipe exactly as written. The flaky crust is what elevates the quality of these bars. To ensure that my crust is magical, when preparing the crust I start by dicing the cold butter. Then I put the diced butter in the freezer while assembling the rest of the ingredients for the crust. Additionally, I am careful not to over mix the butter and flour mixture. Those chunks of cold, cold butter will result in a flaky, yummy crunch supporting the lemon custard.

If you get an opportunity to visit Patagonia, Arizona, and I encourage you to do so, by all means stop at the bakery for some delicious treats. And until you can get there, enjoy these lemon bars with your cup of coffee in the afternoon. The bars are fun to make and delicious to eat.

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