Key to making grapefruit squares is in the zest

  • By Leah Eskin Chicago Tribune
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:13pm
  • Life

Grapefruit, love child of an orange/pomelo hookup, flaunts one parent’s sunny nature and the other’s thick-skinned, rotund ways. The hybrid is all sunny bright, easy-peel, sweet and sour cheer. That’s how it rolls.

And yet, I contrived to press grapefruit flat, to square it off into lemon-bar portability.

I squeezed and mixed and baked. Yielding something sweet, soured by a whiff of fruitcake. In another word: bad.

After many yellow squares and many square yellow leftovers, I was visited by a revelation. Fresh grapefruit: good. Cooked grapefruit: bad.

So I reformatted my bars, confining grapefruit to a fresh zest finish. Which worked. The bars sliced up lemon bold, grapefruit fresh, sunshine sweet. Score another for hybrid vigor.

Sunshine bars

  • 3 cups sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 3 grapefruits
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained (from about 8 lemons)
  • 6 eggs

Buzz: Measure sugar into the food processor. Drop in grapefruit zest. Buzz to a fine grapefruit-scented powder, about 1 minute. Scoop 1/4 cup scented sugar into a small bowl; set aside. Scoop 2 1/4 cups scented sugar into a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Combine: Measure 1 1/2 cups flour and the salt into the remaining 1/2 cup scented sugar in the food processor. Buzz to combine. Drop in butter. Pulse many times. Mixture will look like fine sand, then coarse sand, then big clumps.

Pat: Dump clumps into a 13-x-9-inch baking pan. Pat into the bottom of the pan. Slide into a 325-degree oven and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

Whisk: Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1/2 cup flour into the scented sugar in the large mixing bowl. Whisk in juice. Whisk in eggs.

Bake: When pastry is golden, lower oven temperature to 300 degrees. Pour egg mixture over pastry and bake until center is just set, about 30 minutes. Pull pan out of oven.

Gild: Spread remaining 1/4 cup scented sugar over the top. Cool. Chill. Cut into 48 bars.

More in Life

From Jasper to Banff: A Canadian adventure in an RV

Jennifer Bardsley plans to take her family on two-week roadtrip through Canada in a tent trailer.

Skippers share sea stories at Marysville speaker series

The Bellingham couple will talk about charter cruises on the historic wooden vessel they rebuilt.

Anxiety, or chronic worry, is a growing problem

Paul Schoenfeld shares four approaches to help keep your anxiety from getting out of control.

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Find many of our region’s winter birds in the Skagit Valley

If you love birding, also check out these bird-related festivals, lectures and other events.

What’s new this year for travelers in England, Ireland

The nations are improving tourism infrastructures and adding exhibits to well-known sights.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

Want to buy a house this year? Here’s how to start saving up

Here are five ways to help you put 10 percent of your income per year toward buying a house.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Night Circus

The Everett brewery’s head brewer had nightmares trying to dial in its new coffee and coconut ale.

Most Read