Thursday, February 10, 2022

Orange Bars Recipe

When life gives you oranges, you make......

Orange Bars! This time around, I had access to the best tasting oranges.

There are two components to orange bars, a shortbread crust and an orange curd topping. For the shortbread you need:

1 Cup of Flour
1 Cup of Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 to 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

We start by making the shortbread crust so let's get started:

First you'll dice 2 sticks of butter, and mix that together with 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. The butter needs to be at room temperature before mixing, and its likely you just pulled it out of the fridge. Now to combine the two, I'm using the combination of my spoon and a pastry blender. It's a little tricky getting the butter incorporated, and a small quantity of water does not hurt.
When you mix this together, you should have a slightly fluffy cookie dough mixture.

Now you must press this shortbread dough into the bottom of the pan. You can put water on your fingers to help it stick. As nonsticky as my dough felt in the bowl, it actually pressed into the pan fine. Fill up the pan with dough and press it all in. When complete, you should use a fork to put some holes in the dough to prevent any hot spots when baking. I did not and encountered several air bubbles later on during this recipe.

This shortbread crust bakes at 350F for 22 minutes. So get that in the oven.
While that is baking, we will prepare the orange custard to top the dough.

4 Eggs
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Orange juice.
~1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
1 Teaspoon Powdered Sugar

Next we get the oranges ready.

Take that cheesegrater and zest the skin of at least 1 orange. This will be a bit tedious but eventually you can collect that zest for adding to the custard mixture.

Now you can juice the zested oranges. You should use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup worth of juice.
To make the custard, crack open the four eggs in the bowl and beat them up.
Add the orange juice, orange zest, white sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour and stir that up.

Once you get the shortbread base out of the oven, pour the orange custard over the crust in the pan. It won't look that thick after pouring, but it will thicken pretty quick in the oven. This goes back in the oven for another 25-35 minutes.
Pull the orange bars out of the oven, chill them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This should be enough time for the custard to fully set. Give the orange bars a nice dusting of powdered sugar, and slice them up into squares.
And that's it! Enjoy your orange bars. These were fantastic!

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