I have to tell you, I do not bake with berries nearly often enough. Every time I do, I can’t believe I don’t bake with berries more often, and I give myself a little kick. It seems like every berry recipe I try turns out wonderfully, but they are so short lived during the summer season that I tend to turn more towards flavours that are readily available year round, like chocolate or peanut butter.
Still, if you like raspberries, and if you like lemons or lemonade, go make these. Ahh! A beautiful, thick shortbread-esque crust, topped with a tangy, sweet, and tart filling. The beauty of this dessert, despite being berry season, is that it calls for frozen raspberries, so it can be made any time of the year. One of the wonderful things about berries is that they freeze so well. They keep all those marvelous juices locked up inside, and still release them when thawed or cooked.
Now, I will let you all know. Paul and I just moved into a new house. The oven and I are still on fairly new terms, and I am still figuring out how temperamental (haha… I hope I’m not the only one who had a giggle!) the oven is. After baking these, I am inclined to think this oven actually runs a bit on the cool side, as I had to bake these bars for about 12 minutes longer than the listed baking time. Still, I find when you bake, always set your timer for the lesser time, and start regularly checking your baking about 10-15 minutes before it is supposed to be done. Every oven is different, and it’s better to check early than to check too late and end up with burned baking!
I will also let you know, this makes a full 9 x 13 pan. You can always halve the recipe if you want. For me, bigger is better! (Which also means more treats for Paul and I to indulge in!) Because of my oven, I found that the bars along the edges of my pan solidified a bit more during the cooking process, while the bars in the middle of the pan were just set and still juicy. In my mind, not a bad thing! Some people prefer different textures, and my result would have pleased either or.
But, with all things said and done, I was extremely pleased with these bars. Both textures tasted delicious, and the colour was quite bright (my pictures don’t do them justice). Again, if you are a fan of raspberries or lemonade, try these bars. You won’t be disappointed!
Recipe from http://www.annies-eats.com/
Yields: 1 9×13 pan (approx. 24 bars)
18 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c. sugar
2 c. flour
½ tsp. salt
Raspberry Lemon Layer:
3 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. flour
3 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
3 c. frozen raspberries, thawed
6 egg whites
2 large eggs
1 1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, mix in the flour and salt until just incorporated. Add the dough to the prepared baking pan, and press into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, placing on a wire rack to cool. Leave oven at 350°.
While crust is baking, make the top layer. Combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the egg whites and eggs to bowl to the dry ingredients and whisk well to blend. Add the raspberries to a fine mesh sieve and press through, mashing with a spatula, to extract as much juice and pulp as possible, straining out the seeds. Whisk in the raspberry puree and lemon juice until smooth.
Pour the filling mixture over the crust and bake until the centre is just set and no longer jiggles when gently shaken, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, chill well in the fridge, at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, use the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan. Place on a cutting board and slice into bars. Dust the tops of bars with icing sugar if desired.