Strawberry Rhubarb Lemon Squares
We always feel that spring has truly arrived when we smell the lilacs blooming, and see rhubarb for sale at the farmers' market. These lemon squares, gilded with a bright red topping of sweetened strawberry rhubarb puree, have an incredible sweet/tart taste; they're the personal favorite of many of us at King Arthur.
Crust: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla, and beat well. Stir in the flour and eggs, mixing until well-blended. Note: If you're using a hand mixer, you'll need to finish kneading the flour in by hand, as this dough is quite stiff.
Lightly grease a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan. Press the dough into the pan, being sure to press it up to the top edge of the pan. An easy way to level the dough is to cover it with plastic wrap, then use a small rolling pin or a can to flatten it. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake the crust in a preheated 350(F) oven for 8 minutes; it won't brown much, just become "set."
Filling: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, eggs and lemon juice. After the crust has baked for 8 minutes, remove it from the oven and top it with the lemon filling. Return it to the oven and bake for an additional 25 to 28 minutes, until it's lightly browned on the top and edges.
Glaze: Wash the strawberries and rhubarb. Place the strawberries on a towel or a rack to dry, and peel and dice the rhubarb. Dice about 1 cup of the strawberries.
Place the rhubarb, diced strawberries and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan. Over low heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. If you're using cornstarch, add the remaining sugar and the cornstarch dissolved in the water, return the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat. To use Instant ClearJel (r), mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the ClearJel (r). Remove the rhubarb mixture from the heat, and stir in the sugar and ClearJel (r).
Let the mixture cool slightly. Add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired. To finish, either dice the remaining berries and mix with the glaze, then spread over the filling; or spread the glaze over the filling, then arrange sliced fresh berries over the top. If you're serving the bars within a few hours, arrange the berries on top as it looks a little more festive; but mixing the berries completely into the glaze keeps them looking fresh longer. Yield: 35 squares.
Nutrition information per serving (1 square, 62g): 153 cal, 7g fat, 2g
protein, 8g complex carbohydrates, 14g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 51mg
cholesterol, 73mg sodium, 69mg potassium, 69RE vitamin A, 9mg vitamin C, 1mg
iron, 14mg calcium, 29mg phosphorus.
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