Lemon Creme Double Crumb Bars

Well, what can I say? These bars are divine. Are you a crumble fan? Then you're going to love these as they have a double crumble. Crumble on the top and bottom. (Perhaps I should say double trouble not double crumble! They're going to wreak havoc on your waistline.) 
Of course, anything with lemon and condensed milk layered in between two crumbles has simply got to be roll your eyes delicious.

Lemon Creme Double Crumb Bars

From Cooking Classy

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt*
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, rolled oats, salt and baking soda. Stir in granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until no clumps of sugar remain. Stir vanilla into melted butter and pour mixture over dry ingredients. Using a spoon, stir mixture until evenly moistened. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 8 by 8-inch baking dish and gently press into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside (leaving oven heated at 350 degrees).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 
egg yolks and lemon extract until well blended. Pour mixture over crumb crust in baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining crumb mixture. Bake in preheated oven 23 - 26 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, refrigerate an hour, then remove and cut into squares. 

Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

*If using salted butter reduce salt amount to 1/8 tsp


Walnut Jam Scones

Here's another recipe from Huckleberry. Unusual looking scones I thought...more like very thick thumbprint cookies, but there's nothing cookie-ish about these scones...they're perfection: crumbly and light. Not overly sweet either, which is the way I like my scones and besides, the raspberry jam provides the perfect balance in your mouth. Don't be surprised to find your sheet pan very buttery after baking, which explains why these scones don't need any additional butter slathered on top. 

Isn't it great they can be frozen unbaked for a month or so? You can take them out of the freezer and in 30 minutes, a delicious breakfast is ready to go.

Walnut Jam Scones
From Huckleberry, by Zoe Nathan

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 1/2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, small cubes
6 tablespoons cold buttermilk
1 1/4 cups raspberry jam

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, walnuts, salt and sugar. Add the cubed butter and work with your hands until there are no chunks of butter bigger than peas or small lima beans. Lightly toss to distribute.
Dump the mixture on a clean surface and, with the heel of your hand, flatten out the dough and start gathering it in until it forms a dough. Do not overwork. There should be some small chunks of butter left.
Pinch off about 3-4 tablespoons of the dough (I filled an ice cream scoop) and place on an ungreased sheet pan. Make an indentation in the center with a spoon and fill with a teaspoon or two of the raspberry jam. Cover and place in the freezer for at least two hours. (Or up to one month, well wrapped.)

Preheat oven to 375. Place the scones on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Make an egg wash with 2 yolks and a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and brush the scones all over. Sprinkle with sugar and bake the frozen scones for about 30 minutes or until well browned.


Amanda Hesser's Winter Fruit Salad

This bright and unusual fruit salad would be fabulous to serve at a brunch along with Nancy's Roquefort Quiche. Or any quiche, for that matter. I used the original  New York Times recipe from an article by Amanda Hesser in 2001. She suggested it for Christmas breakfast along with some tangerine juice and a morning bread pudding.  Amanda Hesser was one of our Gourmet 50 Women Game Changer chefs and I made her ultra fabulous sheet pan mac and cheese for the series. She is amazingly talented.
At any rate.....I added some pomegranate arils for color as suggested by Deb from Smitten Kitchen when she posted the recipe. Quick to make, but it should sit overnight in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld, so allow some time.

Winter Fruit Salad
By Amanda Hesser for the New York Times, December 19th, 2001

1 1/4 cup sugar
3 star anise
1 plump vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
2 2-inch long pieces lemon zest (peeled with a vegetable peeler), preferably Meyer lemons
3 firm Bosc pears
1 firm tart apple
8 dried Turkish apricots, cut in half
4 dried figs, quartered
Pomegranate arils for color

Fill a medium saucepan with 5 cups water. Add the sugar, star anise, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, and cook until all the sugar is dissolved. Then shut off the heat. Meanwhile, peel and core pears and apple. Slice thinly lengthwise and place in a large heatproof bowl. Add apricots and figs. Pour hot sugar syrup on top, making sure all the fruit is covered. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; poke a few holes in plastic. Chill overnight in refrigerator.
The next morning, using a slotted spoon ladle fruit into a serving bowl and serve.

Yield: 6 servings.


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