Lemon bars are a classic treat. This time of year they are especially welcome as the bright burst of flavor may counteract, however briefly, the chilly winter winds. A twist on the traditional lemon bar, these ruby red grapefruit bars are just as sweet and delicious but with a hint of the grapefruit’s distinctive flavor that gives them a little bit of surprise factor. Bright, sweet, and slightly gooey, they taste great warm out of the oven, but also chilled in the fridge.
And if that’s not reason enough, as Homer Simpson says, when put food into bar form, “you unleash it’s awesome power.” Feel the awesome power of grapefruit.
Ruby Red Grapefruit Bars
for the crust
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the filling
6 eggs, room temperature
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grapefruit zest (about 1 grapefruit’s worth)
1 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (about 2 grapefruit’s worth)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
confectioners sugar for dusting
In the bowl of your food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut up the butter, drop it in and pulse several times until the dough has a sandy texture. Drizzle in the ice water and pulse just until combined. Gather the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Form a round disc, and wrap the disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least a half-hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a roughly 9 x 13” rectangle, gently fold it, and then press it into a well-buttered 9 x 13 x 2” dish. Fold any excess dough into the corners of the baking dish.
Bake for 15 -20 minutes, until the crust is just golden. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
The make the grapefruit layer, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk, add the sugar, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice, flour, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Pour over the crust, and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Check for the center to set, and then bake for another five minutes.
Remove from oven, test bars for doneness if you like, and set aside to cool completely–an hour or so.
Cut the bars into squares and dust with confectioners sugar.