Although Fall is officially here, we're still trying to wrap ourselves in the long days of summer for as long as possible. This past weekend we fired up the smoker and tossed on a bag of lemons, which provided us some tasty smoked lemonade and a unique dessert of Smoked Lemon Bars...
Our rind and juice of the smoked lemons carries with it all the tastes of your summer grilling and smoking adventures. Now while that might weird some people out, thing of it as that little extra bit of "oomf" to a recipe that wins you balloons falling from the ceiling, parades in your honor and a golden key to the city. Ok, so that might be a bit far stretched, but it is a curious addition and twist to an old fashioned dessert that is unexpected and excites the senses!
If you need a refresher on smoking lemons, check back at this post. It's an easy process of cutting them in half, and placing them in a smoker below 225 degrees Fahrenheit. We left ours on for the last half of a football game and they were perfect!
Crust 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Lemon Layer 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 tablespoon smoked lemon zest 1 tablespoon (plain) lemon zest 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 cup flour
Powdered Sugar for topping
(Ingredient Note: Plan on using 3 lemons of each kind, smoked and unsmoked to fulfill the ingredient list above)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and choose pan size. 2-8" square pans will yield a thinner bar and 1-9"x13" will result in a thicker "more gooey" bar. Add grease or parchment.
In bowl of mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add flour and salt. Mix to combine. Dump into prepared pan and use your floured hands or a butter wrapper to press the dough down into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes and remove pan from oven, place pan on cooling rack to chill slightly before adding topping.
In bowl of mixer fitted with whisk attachment (you can also do this by hand with ease) add all filling ingredients and mix until combined. Pour mixture over crust (which doesn't have to be 100% cool) and return pan to 350 degree oven for 35 minutes (9"x13") or 20 min (2-8"x8"). Cool completely and refrigerate before cutting. Apply a liberal layer of powdered sugar to the top and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
They are great the way they are, but a little bit of added fat in the form of dairy really makes the smokey taste shine alongside the tart lemons. We personally love a little bit of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Although it might seem like overkill, it's a beautiful combination of flavors and textures. Add a little extra smoked lemon zest to the top of your ice cream to tie it all together! Enjoy!