zesty lemon bars – Spring is here!

Spring is finally here, and with all the warmth and sunshine I’ve been inspired to bake some zesty lemon bars. I’ve borrowed another recipe from Joy the Baker (here is the link to her page for the classic lemon bars recipe) and have included a few of my tips below.fromscratchhome_classiclemonsquares_1a

  • To get the lemon zest and juice I first used a vegetable peeler to peel a thin layer of the zest off (avoiding the white rind with that), finely chopped the zest, then sliced the lemon in half and squeezed the juice. I needed the juice of a whole large lemon to get the 1/4 cup the recipe calls for
  • when baking the crust it was still bubbling with butter at the 18 minute mark. This turned out to be fine. I thought it might have been something wrong with the recipe, but all was good in the end
  • before adding the filling to the hot crust, I stirred it once more, since the sugar had settled-out. This prevented the sugar from ending up in a lump in the middle
  • I cut the bars still in the pan – first trimming the edges (they are more decadent and chewy.. absolutely delicious! but didn’t look nice on the bars)
  • I suggest you wait several hours until the bars have completely cooled to give them a true taste test. They are all the more lemony with time!

I’m not sure I’m done with making lemon, or even other citrus fruit desserts yet this spring. There’s just something so refreshing about citrus after a long winter.

~ Leena

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Easy Peach Blueberry Pie – oh my!

Peaches are deliciously in season right now (as are blueberries), and I couldn’t resist buying a quart, or two… or three! I was inspired to make pastry… peaches and pastry – a glorious combination.

I don’t have very much experience making pie or pie crust… in fact, this is only my third attempt at making pie. I found this wonderful recipe for peach blueberry pie on Joy the Baker, and thought I’d give it a whirl. I found Joy’s recipe and instructions really easy to follow, and the results were amazing ( if I may say so… ;). The spices that are added (cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander) give this pie a subtle boost in flavour.

fromscratchhome_peachblueberrypie_1 fromscratchhome_peachblueberrypie_2

I modified the baking temperature and next time I would modify the amount of time in the oven as well. I baked the pie for 15 minutes at 400F and then 45 minutes at 350F (the recipe said 375F, but I went with 350F and I’m glad I did!!) but even with the lower temperature the crust edge was quite over-done. Next time I might take it out at 40 minutes.

So what have you been making with in-season fruit?

~ Leena