Top 10 list of things I can't get enough of:
3. Jamie Bamber's smile
4. That feeling of "ahhh...," after completing stuff I'd been putting off for days.
6. Good hair days
7. Peace of mind (rare for an overly analytical perfectionist)
9. Cool summer nights
10. Lemon...anything (of course)
Aside from the fact that I don't always have luck with Martha Stewart's recipes, when I first found these squares, I was more worried about the filling. (See #7 on the list above.) For as often as I dream about eating sweet milk by the spoonful, I didn't want to spoil my beloved, acerbic lemon flavour. Luckily the sweet milk and lemons share the spotlight quite graciously! Plus they're nestled on top of a pistachio and graham cracker crust...and unless allergies are involved, I've yet to meet anyone who can resist pistachios. (Seriously, just try to resist eating most of the bag whilst shelling.)
Lemon Bars with Pistachio-Graham Cracker Crust
makes about 12 squares
for the crust
2/3 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
4 ounces (1 cup) graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest from one lemon (don't worry about having a specific amount.)
5 Tablespoons (that's 1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
for the filling
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a slight overhang along the edges. [Note: Lightly spray or butter the foil, if using.]
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pistachios, graham cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Pulse several times until the pistachios are finely ground. (It's okay if to have a few large chunks of pistachio here and there.) Add the melted butter and pulse just until blended into the dry ingredients. (Everything should be evenly moistened.) Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides (about 1-inch) of prepared pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling.
Prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks, sweet milk, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. Pour the filling over the cooled crust.
Bake for 13-17 minutes, until the middle is just set and no longer "jiggles" when the pan moves.
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once the squares have come to room temperature, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour before slicing.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart