These are not your grandmother’s lemon bars…
I sometimes get that certain itch that needs scratching. A persistent yet familiar urge. I know when I get it that a lady will not be able to help me out with it.
What about Martha you say? Surely she has what it takes? Nope. Martha is too traditional and surprisingly delicate given her unfortunate incarceration.
Rachael? Oh god no! She stresses me out just by looking at her and, er…I’d really like the whole experience to last longer than 30 minutes.
Giada? Hmmm? Yes, while its true Giada can be counted on to add that certain something extra, she canalso be a bit obvious sometimes. No. Sorry Giada, you can’t help me out this time.
And I have been very public regarding my open relationship with The Ina and yet depite her permissiveness she isn’t working for me here. I confessed not long ago to the summer-long affair I had years ago with the lusty and quite capable Nigela. (I still get warm and tingly just thinking about her…)
Do I have to say it? When it comes to satisfying one of these urges what I really need is a guy.
I wasn’t looking for tea at Neiman Marcus with my grandmother at for god’s sake! No delicate, feminine lemon bar was going to cut it with me at such a moment. Nigela, bless her heart, calls for only 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and no zest in her whole recipe! That’s a juice bar, not a lemon bar. Not a man’s lemon bar!
David Lebovitz, with whom I have been having a mad on-again on-again culinary affair with ever since we had that chance encounter over his ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop, took me in to his sweet blog one evening and showed me, as only a man can, that for a real lemon bar you had to use one whole lemon, peel, pith, and all.
See what I’m telling you?
It takes a guy to know something like that. A guy knows what a guy likes and this guy (meaning me) just wanted a real kick-ass lemon bar. A lemon bar that didn’t mess around or play games. A lemon bar that wouldn’t lead me on only to not put out when things started to get cozy. David Lebovits saw me cruising for lemony satisfaction that evening and boy did he know how to please!
We frolicked together all weekend tinkering with one not-so-kinky variant after another but in the end I have to give it to David, his specifications as written was where perfection lay. I made one batch with a Meyer Lemon and cut down the sugar to 3/4 cup but it was a bit cloying and lacked the pithy secondary bitterness which nicely countered the bar’s lemony rush.
I found that organic Eureka lemon provided just the right lemon/pith balance. For a second batch while heating the butter I let its solids burn and used it the crust. Just amazing. (Burnt butter is my new secret ingredient in so many cookies and muffins these days!) These bars are so damn lemony that the nuttiness of burnt butter still won’t overpower the lemon topping. Somewhere around my 5th batch I included a bit of almond flour in the crust. Sublime.
The truth about David is that no matter what your predilections are he has something with which to please you. He has been holding me rapt for years exuding his unique charms with his blog and in his books — I strongly recommend you go to his place and seek him out. He recently rocked my ice cream world last summer and recently I finished his romp through Paris in “The Sweet Life in Paris” one of my favorite Christmas gifts.
Expect to see more of him here. Soon. I’m done keeping him to myself. I think we’re ready to be more public with our culinary affair. Don’t tell grandma.