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Lemon Meringue Bars with Raspberry Jam

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Chef and Author of “101 Epic Dishes” Ali Tila is sharing a recipe for luscious lemon meringue bars with raspberry jam!
Ingredients

Ingredients for Sponge Cake

  • ¾ cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup cake flour
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites (save the yolks for the curd)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 2 ½ tbs granulated sugar

Raspberry Jam

  • 6 tsbs Raspberry jam
  • 2 tbs water

Lemon Curd

  • 8 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 sheets silver leaf gelatin
  • 9 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon zest

Italian Meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Lemon Meringue Bars with Raspberry Jam - Home & Family

Directions:

1. To make the joconde, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and lay parchment paper over it.

2. Sift the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, and cake flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and cream them together until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides, and bottom of the bowl occasionally. The batter should be smooth and past-like. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy, 1-2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar a little at a time and continue to whip to medium peaks, about 5 minutes. The meringue should hold its shape, but the tip of the peak will curl over onto itself when you lift the whisk attachment.

If the meringue becomes grainy, it is over-whipped. You might be able to save it by adding an additional egg white and mixing it into the meringue. However, your best bet is to start over with new egg whites.

4. Fold half of the meringue into the batter until it is incorporated, followed by the second half. Pour the batter into prepared sheet pan and level it out with an offset spatula. Try not to spread it too much to avoid deflating the batter.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the joconde for 12-15 minutes, until it’s a pal golden just around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
6. To make the raspberry jam, place the raspberry jam and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes to allow the jam to thicken. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool.

7. Once the joconde cools, cut at 9x9-inch square from the center of the cake and evenly spread 3 tablespoons of the raspberry jam on top. Line the inside of a straight-sided 9x9-inch baking pan with plastic wrap, overhanging the sides 1-2 inches. Place the joconde square in the bottom of the pan, gently pressing it all the way down. Refrigerate the cake in the pan while making the curd.

8. To make the curd, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and well combined. Place the gelatin in a small bowl and cover with cold water, set aside to let the gelatin bloom. Place the butter in a large bowl and set aside.

9. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the lemon juice and lemon zest and bring to a boil over medium heat. Temper the egg mixture by vigorously whisking the lemon juice mixture into it a little at a time to keep the eggs from curdling. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and boil it for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

10. While the curd is boiling, drain the gelatin and place it in the bowl with the butter. Pour the hot curd over the butter and gelatin abd blend with an immersion blender to emulsify the mixture. You can also place the mixture in a blender to emulsify it, stopping the blender occasionally to scrape down the sides.

Once the curd is smooth, pour it over the joconde in the baking pan and lightly tap it on the counter to even out the curd. Place the pan in the refrigerator until set, 1-2 hours.

11. Once the bars are set, use the overhanging plastic wrap to lift the bars from the baking pan and cut them into 12 2.25x3-inch bars, or your desired size. The lemon bars can be made 203 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen, wrapped in plastic in the pan.

12. To make the meringue, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set aside. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides of the pan so all the sugar crystals dissolve. This will prevent the syrup from crystallizing and ruining your day. Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 230˚F on a candy thermometer.

13. Begin to whip your egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed while the simple syrup continues to cook. The goal here is to whip the egg whites to medium peaks about the same time as the syrup reaches soft ball stage 240˚F. The soft ball stage is when a drop of sugar syrup placed in water forms a soft ball. If they whip too fast, just keep them moving on low speed until the syrup catches up.

Once the syrup reaches 240˚F, turn the mixer to low speed and carefully pour the syrup in a slow stream down the side of the mixing bowl. Once it is added, turn the mixer to medium-high and whip it until the meringue is stiff and cooled.

14. Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice and pipe decoratively on the top of each lemon bar. Using a kitchen torch with a medium-high flame, gently toast the meringue. Serve!

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