Monday, 18 July 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

I seem to be all about the recipes these days (and a big thank you to my friend Mashi for letting me in on this one!).

So unlike my recent treats, these ones are not sugar free (hey, I can't be good all the time!).  But I did manage to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by more than half by using stevia instead for the filling.  I didn't want to try messing around with the crust since I figured the lack of sugar would change it too much.  For the filling however I omitted the sugar (all 1 1/4 cups of it!) and used 1 tsp powdered stevia, then made up the rest of the lost bulk with extra strawberry puree (which actually was sweetened with a little bit of sugar, so I can't claim the filling is entire free of the stuff!).

The recipe worked out just fine though and the bars were delicious.  A very refreshing alternative to other baked sweets.  Actually they weren't very sweet at all, more on the tart side.  Basically like pouring an entire pitcher of strawberry lemonade onto a crust and baking it!

So here is the recipe.  (original recipe and picture here)

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Crust
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Filling
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cup pureed strawberries
1 tsp powdered stevia
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
To make crust:
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy.  Gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Press into pan and bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.
Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set.
Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices.
Makes 24 bars.

These bars lasted about 24hrs in the house before they were all gone.  And I will admit that I ate most of them (they're suitable for breakfast, right?).  Good thing about the reduced sugar part.

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