Lemon bars with olive oil

It seems like a lot of the things I cook begin with the remains of something I just cooked. In this case Meyer lemons. Left over from the vile Lymonnyk I made last week. Those lemons cost a fortune and I wasn’t about to waste them. These were very juicy and I thought, incorrectly it turned out, that I could get away with just the 1, even though the recipe calls for 4 to 6. The recipe, linked here to the original in the New York Times by Melissa Clark (I love her), calls for a shortbread crust covered with lemon curd, neither of which I had ever made. I ended up going back to the store to get a few more lemons.

Cue the disaster music. Filled with dread, I poured flour, salt, sugar and butter into a food processor. And then after 3 minutes of processing I had essentially sand. I’m like WTF?! But after some direction from the Royal Mounted Indian Food Police who seems to know more about short bread than I, (and, to be fair, he had already made it, gave me the recipe and coerced me into making it) I continued to process it and it formed into something one might loosely associate with dough which I then pressed into the pan and baked.

The making of the curd was a little trickier than I’d imagined. Maybe not so much tricky as unknown. I didn’t recognize the process, and it was complex; whisking, stirring, boiling—BUT ONLY FOR ONE MINUTE OR YOU WILL RUIN IT—straining, but I muddled though. The recipe called for the addition of olive oil, the “grassier and pepperier” the better and I’d just brought back a $400 bottle of grassy, peppery olive oil from Italy. The stuff makes you cough it’s so peppery. Perfect, I thought.

Um hm, perfect, I thought, it made the raw curd smell very, very strange. Like something I’d-not-like-to-eat strange. But once it was baked, however briefly, that smell went away and it turned out to be luscious and delicious. I’d make it again. Although it is unlikely I’ll have a bunch of leftover Meyer lemons anytime soon, if I can help it.

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