Cakes are my favorite to make, but I wanted to try something a little different that was still sweet (and maybe a sweet Dane would like since it’s “not cake”). I saw these lemon thyme bars that looked like a sophisticated version of one of my favorites. I need to post (and bake) my mom’s lemon square bars to see how the recipes compare–that will be a tasty test. Anyhow, to make them more festive and adopt the recipe, I chose to add blueberries to the filling of this bar and a raspberry to top it off so there’s a subtle (yet very defined) patriotic flavor.
1/2 lb unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 large eggs
2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 c. flour
fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
6 oz. blueberries
First, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer until light (above left). Combine the flour, thyme and salt (above right). With the mixer on low, add mixture to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking pan (I used 2 loaf pans because I like a lot of crust and thought this would be easier for transporting), building up a 1/2 inch edge on all sides. Let cool.
before & after oven crust
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Add half a quart of blueberries to mixture, fold into batter. Pour over the crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (about 5 minutes beyond the point where the filling is set). Cool to room temperature.
zest & juice // batter
before & after baking
For the lemon glaze, whisk together the confectioners sugar and lemon juice. It’s a little more work, but I recommend sifting the powered sugar to avoid a lumpy glaze. Add more or less sugar and/or juice for desired consistency. Pour glaze over lemon bars and spread with a spatula to cover evenly. Allow the glaze to set for at least 20-30 minutes. Cut into squares, garnish with fresh thyme, add a raspberry to each bar, and enjoy!