I don’t know why I never made bars before this, but let me tell you something folks: bars are amazing, easy, and they make you look pretty impressive, too. I had some blood oranges that I needed to use up, and I thought to myself, why not try blood orange bars? So I adapted a lemon bar recipe, using blood oranges instead, and trust me – you should make these.
Blood Orange Bars
Adapted from Joy the Baker Lemon Bars
Makes an 8 x 8 pan (I cut into 12 bars)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Blood Orange Topping:
2 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh blood orange zest
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar, for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper (so that it over hangs slightly from the pan) and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
2. To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and salt. Beat on low speed until dough is incorporated. Dough may come together, but if it remains shaggy, that’s fine too.
3. Dump the crust into the prepared pan and use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until just browned around the edges.
4. You can make the filling while the crust is baking! In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined and slightly thick. Add the flour, blood orange and lemon juice, and zest and whisk until blended.
5. Pour the filling over the still warm baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and no longer jiggling in the center.
6. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Slice lemon bars into nine squares. Use the over hanging parchment paper to lift the squares out. To store the lemon bars, place them in an airtight container separated by wax paper layers.