It’s January and you should be expecting at least one recipe per week that involves juicy, citrus, goodness. Are we Ok with this? I was lucky enough to find a bag of perfect looking blood oranges at Trader Joes last week and they were just begging to be juiced and baked into something so here it is.
These bars are so bright and citrusy, in regards to both looks and taste. The curd is super creamy and silky and just full of bright tart orange-y goodness. Paired with a buttery shortbread the flavor combo is pretty unbelievable. I served these at a little football viewing party over the weekend and everyone was just raving. The bright flavor and summery hue sure seem to brighten these winter doldrums we’re having here in NYC. (Though we are leaving for Mexico in less than three weeks which is SO exciting- more on that later…)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1½ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- zest of 3 blood oranges
- 1¼ cups blood orange juice*
- 1 stick of unsalted butter cut into cubes
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper (so that the edges hang over allowing you to lift the whole thing out.
- Melt the butter, stir in the sugar until dissolved. Then add the flour and salt and stir until it comes together. Press the dough into the pan, using your fingers to distribute it evenly into the pan.
- Bake the crust for about 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
- In a heat-proof bowl, stir together the cornstarch, sugar and salt, Whisk in the blood orange juice, zest, egg yolks and eggs until smooth and well-combined.
- Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. (Baking a double boiler of sorts,) and whisk the mixture constantly for 5-7 minutes, until it thickens and bubbles like lava. Stir in the butter chunks a couple at a time until they melt.
- As soon as the crust comes out of the oven, pour the curd in and bake for an additional 15 minutes to set the filling.
- Allow bars to cool completely at room temperature and then cover and chill overnight. Serve cold with an optional dusting of powdered sugar.
1- My bright and beautiful blood orange juice faded so much during the cooking stage that I chose to add a few drops of food coloring to brighten in up. This is optional obviously.
2-The original recipe suggests straining the curd through a sieve to strain out the zest and any lumps that may have formed. I skipped this step and we were still thrilled with the results, but a smoother filling may have resulted if I had done so.