Friday, April 10, 2015

Mixed Berry Bars

Everything in moderation, that is how I work it in our house, it is how I was raised, and how I am raising my kids. (That means I bake, and we eat it) I have had a subscription to Cooking Light magazine on and off for years. Recently I played around with their take on a lemon bar. I have always enjoyed lemon bars as a dessert, but the amount of butter in the shortbread crust is astronomical. Here, they cut that amount down, and it still tasted good so I went with it. I messed around with the filling, I didn't have everything in stock that they called for, so of course I just did my own thing. If you are interested in the original, check out the April 2015 issue.

I have slowly gotten away from measuring dry ingredients in measuring cups. Instead I have been using my kitchen scale. Regardless of "standards" people do not measure the same way, and this unsurprisingly causes so many failures in the kitchen. To avoid any unintended mistakes I just weigh everything. I have a relatively inexpensive digital scale which was a gift from my Mother. This is the newer version of the one that I have, and for years I have been pleased with it. If you start looking for one be sure that it has the "tare" feature, you will find it invaluable. This enables you to zero out the scale and I use it every time. After I put the bowl on, when combining multiple flours together (like in this recipe), believe me it is worth it.

King Arthur Flour has a nice reference chart for what different dry ingredients weigh, and you will find that many recipes are starting to include a weight of ingredients in addition to the common and traditional measuring methods. 

I tripled the original recipe when I made it, but I have placed it here doubled because I cannot see it being logical to make such a small amount otherwise. So prepping your pan, I'd use a 13x9 casserole dish, or jelly roll pan if available.

 Mixed Berry Bars

"The Crust"  [preheat the oven to 350°]

6 ounces unbleached flour (around 1⅓ cups)
3 ounces white whole wheat flour (around ⅔ cup)
½ cup unsifted powdered sugar (2.2ounces) [because you are tossing this all in a food processor, sifting isn’t necessary here, but remember that when weighing]
¼ cup cornstarch
4 tsp grated lime rind (original called for lemon)
¼ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
¼ cup canola oil

cooking spray for the pan

Combine the first 6 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the butter and oil and pulse around 10x or until the mixture looks like sand. Dump into your prepped pan and lightly press around to form the crust. Remember this is basically a bottom crust only (think cheesecake). Bake for around 20 minutes, it will be golden brown.

"The Filling"

Work on this while the crust is baking so it can be poured immediately into the hot crust. I used defrosted fruit for this because I am using up what I have in the freezer.

1½ cup blueberries and their juices, defrosted
1½ cup strawberries and their juices, defrosted
3 ounces flour (about ⅔ cup)
2½ cups sugar (this is about 17.6 ounces, granulated sugar is easier to measure)
½ cup lime juice (original called for lemon)
¼ tsp salt
8 eggs, beaten

Wipe the processor clean, then puree the fruit until smooth. Strain through a sieve over a bowl, discarding the solids, if you use a spatula, it will help it go faster. Combine puree, flour, sugar, lemon juice and salt and mix well. Add beaten eggs and mix well with a hand mixer or spatula. Pour into hot crust and bake at 350° for about 30 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean.

Chill for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say that I LOVE the way you bake. It's just like how I do it... cannot. follow. directions! I figure once you have the basics down and understand how ingredients work and taste individually there's no need to follow directions. like ever. HAHA!