This Lemon Bar Recipe Does One Better: It Adds Grapefruit

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My mom’s lemon bars are legendary. They’re from The Joy of Cooking, and I and others in my family have been known to request them in lieu of cake on birthdays and pretty much any other occasion. So when I heard about this new grapefruit bar recipe and realized that they were essentially lemon bars, add the grapefruit, I was curious, skeptical, and ready for a citrus-bar showdown.

In truly dimwitted fashion, I scheduled the bake-off for the weekend after my parents moved, and I could hardly find the oven amid the boxes. Now was clearly not the time to challenge my mom to a head-to-head baking battle (she would’ve cried). Instead, I unearthed the measuring cups and embarked on a grapefruit-bar journey alone…while my parents fretted over closet space upstairs.

I’m so glad I did. These bars are nothing like the ones I grew up eating, which involve simply pouring a mixture of sugar, cornstarch, lemon, and egg over a shortbread crust and baking it. These bars have magic, and that magic is CURD. As I learned from a crash course with the recipe’s mastermind, Chris Morocco, curd means you cook it, i.e. you heat the lemon mixture (sometimes over a double boiler; in this case, right in the saucepan) until it simmers, then you whisk in butter gradually. All these years I thought I was curd-ing but I was really just mixing stuff together! As it turns out, the extra work yields an unbelievably soft, pillowy, creamy-bright filling that makes other lemon bars look kind of sad and deflated in comparison. Sorry, Mom!

Making the shortbread crust was simple thanks to my best friend the food processor. My dough never became dough, exactly, more like loose sand, but I just pressed it into the pan while my parents rearranged furniture in the next room, and, after 25 minutes in the oven, it had become a perfectly golden-brown crust.

While that was baking, I candied the grapefruit peel—another cooking thing I’d never done before! It was pretty easy, but try to avoid the pith (the white stuff under the peel), because even a half cup of sugar can’t mask that much bitterness. Also, the recipe says to discard the sugar syrup after simmering the grapefruit, but let me suggest you save it for cocktails: It’s like an Aperol simple syrup, and who wouldn’t love that?

Then it was time for the curd. I’ll admit that there was a brief moment—okay, about eight minutes of constant whisking—when I hated the curd. Sweating, arm cramping, a handyman drilling holes in a wall somewhere: It all felt like torture…until, thank the Lord, the creamy, pale yellow, just-thick-enough mixture was done, along with all of my grip strength.

I poured it over the shortbread, topped it with the candied grapefruit, and sent it into the oven for a final bake. Then I chilled the bars in the fridge for a few hours while I located a few boxes of Christmas decorations and went to town. I suggest letting these bars chill for as long as possible, overnight if you can stand it, because the curd will be easier to cut and the shortbread will have absorbed some of the delicious, citrusy goo (a very good thing). I only gave them three hours because I had a train to catch, so my bars got a little sloppy, but the flavor was unreal—pops of citrus and cream balanced by the buttery richness of the crust—and the ones I left in my parents’ fridge received rave reviews for appearance and taste.

Am I a total curd convert? Will I never ask my mom for her lemon bars again? I won’t make any promises, but I will make you some curd—as soon as my strength returns.

Get the recipe:

grapefruit-bars-with-candied-zest.jpg

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Tomas Tatar adds speed, ‘punch’ to Habs: coach – Montreal

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Tomas Tatar wasn’t the centrepiece of the blockbuster deal that sent him to the Montreal Canadiens, but he’s carved out a vital role with his new squad.

The Habs were looking to the future when they traded their captain Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights in September for Tatar and prospect Nick Suzuki.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde Montreal — Canadiens’ Carey Price steals one in Calgary

While Suzuki, 19, has yet to crack the Canadiens roster, Tatar has five goals in his last five games.

“He’s added a punch to our team,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said of the left winger on Friday.

“He’s had a great attitude since day one, he’s worked hard, he’s on a line that seems to complement him. We’re really happy with him.”

Tatar spent the tail end of last season with the Knights after being dealt to Vegas from the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline.

The 27-year-old had spent his entire NHL career in the Motor City after he was picked 60th overall by the Wings in the 2009 draft, and tallied three 20-plus goal seasons in a row between 2013 and 2017.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Edmonton Oilers rout the Montreal Canadiens

He played 20 games for the Knights last year, notching just four goals and two assists.

“It didn’t really work for me, but I had a great experience,” Tatar said. “I enjoyed my ride there. It was awesome.

“We were one step away from a Stanley Cup.”

Heading into the off-season, he knew he had to put in some work to bounce back. Meanwhile, the Canadiens coaches and management were looking at how to recover from a lacklustre campaign that saw them end the year with a 29-40-13 record, out of a playoff spot.

“One thing we thought we had already and just had to add to it was we had a good skating team,” Julien said.

WATCH: Call of the Wilde — The Price is wrong






Adding Tatar and left-winger Max Domi — acquired from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk in June — helped the club get even faster in a league that’s constantly racing for speed.

“We’re not unique there. There’s a lot of fast teams there. We just had to make sure we had the right people in place to kind of follow that trend as well,” Julien said.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres go to overtime

Domi, who is playing centre in Montreal, and Tatar currently lead the Habs in scoring, with 23 and 16 points respectively.

“There have been some great additions to the team over the summer and (Tatar’s) been one of them,” Julien said.

Tatar is quick to deflect credit for his performance.

“I think it’s a team success,” he said. “When the team is doing well, the individuals are standing up, too. The whole team is playing really well and we’re fortunate to score enough goals.”

WATCH: Global’s hockey analyst Brian Wilde breaks down the key plays from the Habs






Key to that success has been developing a chemistry with his linemates, Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault. The trio has combined for 18 of Montreal’s 63 goals so far.

“I think we’re just working pretty hard on a 200-feet game. Gally and Phil are a doing great, they’re helping me a lot. I think the line’s just clicking,” Tatar said.

“I’m really happy with how things are going for us right now. And we just have to keep up the standard.”

‘We just have to be ready’

The Habs boast a 10-6-3 record and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division.

They’re currently on a three-game Canadian road trip that got off to a rocky start on Tuesday with a 6-2 loss in Edmonton. Julien called the match the team’s worst game of the season.

On Thursday, his crew battled back, claiming a 3-2 victory in Calgary where Tatar scored the opening goal.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — New York Rangers wear out Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens will wrap up the western tour with an early evening game in Vancouver.

The club knows the Canucks have some hot young talents, including rookie Elias Pettersson who has 17 points in his first 15 NHL games.

Every team in the league is getting younger and faster, Tatar said.

“We just have to be ready,” he said.

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