Lemon Lust Pastry Bars

“Paulie’s piled-up plate two and a half hours ago hadn’t been enough; he was now eating Lemon Lust pastry bars and Killer Zebras. Any normal human ought to have a gut he’d have to carry around on a wheelbarrow, the way he ate.”
-Sunshine

Tangy, zinging lemon bars are one of my all time favorite bake sale treats. But I’ve long since learned that the ubiquitous yellow square is too often chalky on the bottom, gritty in the middle and wet on top. The whole spectrum of human disappointment could probably be mapped to the quality of a lemon square. But when it’s good? Dear gods of lemon zest, when it’s good…

A firm buttery base, creamy lemon-blessed center, and a pristine snowy top that melts into your mouth…

Well. You’ll see. Continue reading Lemon Lust Pastry Bars

Lemon Lechery

“Paulie, still hoarse but no longer sneezing, came in and started on Lemon Lechery and marbled brown sugar cake”
-Sunshine

Unlike the esteemed authoress, I’m not a big gardener. But I love gardens (which is probably why I get along so well with those books that feature it rather heavily). Take lemon trees. One little tree and you’re rolling in so many sunny citrus pops of zesty goodness you’re giving it away to the daughter of a friend of a friend who is fawning over the un-waxed skin like a doe over an actual fawn.

So thank you all you lovely gardeners who share their bounty with others. You are wonderful human beings.

Speaking of wonderful human beings, today’s guest kitchen and baking know-how is provided by my friend Mariko, one of my favorite baking buddies. Look at that tart! No wonder we get along so well.

 

No, seriously. Look at that tart.
No, seriously. Look at that tart.

Mariko was a big help while I fumbled through the recipe for Lemon Lechery. Which invaluable since Lemon Lechery is one of those intriguingly decadent-with-no-details recipes that I’ve been mulling over for a while. There were a couple ways to go with this one, but one bite of this rendition and I was humming my approval so loud I don’t know that I’ll need to revisit this one any time soon. Plus this one has the Mariko-Going-For-Seconds Stamp of Approval.

Lemon Lechery is mentioned only once in Sunshine, bundled in with marbled brown sugar cake. So I decided to go with a dessert in a similar genre. I pictured a generously sliced slab of lemon loaf cake topped with something sinfully excessive to bump it up to the next level. So I over-lemonized a well respected lemon loaf recipe and ditched the light syrups and glazes and went right for a thick white chocolate crust.

The result? Pretty damn tasty. Continue reading Lemon Lechery