Strawberry Calamansi Bars

strawcalambarsThis recipe is a spin-off from the traditional lemon bars. The original plan was to make just calamansi bars, but I didn’t have enough calamansi juice left. I did, however, have some strawberries that I was going to puree and feed the baby, and so I thought if strawberries can go with lemon (strawberry lemonade), then surely they can be paired with calamansi!

You will need:

For the Crust:

            1 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ cup confectioners sugar

½ cup ground walnuts

1 and ½ sticks or ¾ cup butter, cut into cubes

For the Filling:

            4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

            ½ cup calamansi juice*

¼ cup strawberry puree (or mashed strawberries)

½ cup all purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

confectioners sugar to dust on top of the bars

 

What to Do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.

 

To make the crust, put together the flour, confectioners sugar and walnuts. Drop in the butter cubes and use your hands, a pastry blender, or a fork to mix the mixture until the butter is well incorporated and the consistency resembles loose meal and can hold together when you press it with your fingers. We used our hands and my son and I had fun doing the crust together. I just need to be extra sure that he had clean hands (and nails!).

Then, spread the crust mixture evenly at the bottom of the prepared pan, and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, the filling can be prepared.

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add sugar, calamansi juice, and strawberry puree. Mix well. Mix in flour and baking powder.

After the crust is baked, let it cool slightly. Trust me on this one. I already made the mistake of pouring the filling while the crust was fresh from the oven and what happened was the crust and filling blended together during the baking process, and while the result was still “eatable”, there was no distinction between crust and filling.  While letting the crust cool, put the filling mixture in the fridge, and use the time to clean up. I let my son wash the dishes, while I cleaned up all the mess he made while he was washing the dishes.

When the crust is cool, pour the filling mixture over the baked crust and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until edges are browned and center is set.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars (or else, bars will look messy when cut… all this waiting they say that needs to be done in the recipes, there is a reason for them!)

Sprinkle tops of bars with confectioners sugar before serving, and enjoy the sweet and tarty goodness.
IMG_2878Written by: Donna. She is a mother of 2 kids. She is a special-ed teacher during the daytime, and a juggler in the evenings and most weekends. If most people find watching TV or shopping relaxing, she on the other hand, finds messing about in the kitchen to be fun. 

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