Blood Orange Bars

I’ve found myself pinning/gawking at a ridiculous number of citrus-heavy recipes lately.  The beautiful dishes that I’ve been crushing on have inspired me to start making use of all of the juicy citrus that’s cheap and plentiful in grocery stores right now.  I think you’ll start to notice this trend over the next week or so.

Blood Orange Bars | A Nerd Cooks

These blood orange bars are a riff on the Whole Lemon Bars that I blogged about 2 years ago (a post that I fully intend to reshoot and update), which originally come from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  These bars are oh so delicious, and a tad sweeter than the original version.

Blood Orange Bars | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll follow the same basic recipe, with the exception of how the citrus is treated.  Just to recap…

You’ll need:

For the crust –

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 tbs butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • cooking spray

For the filling –

  • 1 blood orange, zested (with the zest set aside)
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 tbs butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • powdered sugar, for dusting on top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9×9-inch or 8×8-inch square pan with cooking spray.  Cut two 12×8-inch pieces of parchment paper.  Lay the first sheet in the bottom of the pan with the extra hanging over the sides.  Lay the second sheet perpendicular to the first sheet, allowing the extras to hang over, too.  Spray the parchment with cooking spray and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until it forms small crumbs.  They should stick together when you pinch the dough with your fingers.

Dump the dough into the pan and press it into the bottom.  Some may start creeping up the sides, and that’s okay.  Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, make the filling.  Zest the blood orange, and set the zest aside.  Carefully peel the orange, and toss the peel.  Slice the fruit into rounds and remove any seeds that you encounter.

Add the sliced orange and sugar to your food processor (clean it out between the crust and filling).  Let it run for about 2 minutes, or until the orange is completely pureed.  Add the butter and run it again until the filling is smooth.  Then, add the corn starch, salt, and zest.  Run the food processor again until everything is combined.

Pour the filling over the par-baked crust.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling jiggles only a little when you move the pan.

Let the pan cool completely on a wire rack on the countertop or just pop it in the fridge until it is completely cool.  Cut into 16 squares.  Dust the top with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!

Blood Orange Bars | A Nerd Cooks Blood Orange Bars | A Nerd Cooks


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