Today's favorite find is a special fruit that is plentiful in the produce aisle only from early November to early February....Clementines!
Clementines, usually found near the regular oranges and packed in small crates, are a small (usually seedless) easy to peel variety of mandarin oranges.
Because of their compact size, Clementines make the perfect lunchbox treat or snack. And while they are perfect to eat on their own, I decided to use them to in a "lemon bar" variation with great results. I adapted a recipe from Gourmet Magazine using the clementines instead of lemons.
Today is my day to cook for a local woman's shelter and I'm bringing these bars for dessert, I have to keep them chilled so I don't want to sprinkle the powdered sugar until the last minute...which is a tip: don't add the powdered sugar until shortly before you are planning on serving them. Now don't freak when you see that the recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter (OK you can freak a little)...you have to keep in mind that this recipe makes about 48 bars.
Super tips: look for crates of Clementines with colorful orangish-red fruit clear of blemishes. Store them at room temperature for up to a week or refrigerate them for up to about 2 weeks.
Darling Clementine Bars (adapted from Gourmet Magazine)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks of cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely grated clementine zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor just until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan. (I used the measuring cup to help press it down).
Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
For the filling whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, flour heavy cream, zest, juice and salt in a bowl until well combined.
Remove the crust from the oven, whisk the filling again, then pour filling over the hot crust. Bake until the filling is just set, about 16 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack to cool.
Refrigerate bars, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Just before serving cut the bars into small squares then sift the confectioner's sugar in a thick layer over bars.
Yield: 48 bars