Two weeks ago I wrote a post about where I find my inspiration. I tried my hardest to be insightful and share with our readers how and where I find the inspiration for my work as a food stylist, but I found it very difficult to write about the topic being in the state I’m in right now. For those that didn’t get the memo, I gave birth to my second son two months ago, and as life is with any newborn, sleep is about as plentiful as water in the desert. Not that I’m complaining- as a second-time mom, this time around I know what I signed up for. But it is difficult, as I’m sure every mom will tell you, to be creative when you are so sleep deprived.
I explained that in that post that I find inspiration everywhere, but I didn’t give a concrete example because, to be honest, I couldn’t think of one at that moment. (I can barely remember what I wore yesterday). And then, a few days ago, something happened. I went outside to go pick a lemon from our lemon tree, and instead of getting just a lemon, the whole branch came off. And there it was. A real solid example of my inspiration. With the lemon branch in my hand I began to think of the image, the styling, the set and of course, the recipe.
So I decided to do a recipe for my favorite lemon bars, and the concept was to showcase the beauty of the branch and lemons, keeping it simple (minimal props), cold (the marble table and blue background) and of course, appetizing. And so the post came to be- when life gives you a lemon branch, make a post out of it. And with it, a real look as to the little things that inspire me.
Ingredients for about 20 squares:
For the dough:
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
7 oz./200 grams butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup lemon juice
⅓ cup flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 9x13-inch (23x33cm.) baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour and salt and make a well in the center. Add the butter and with your hands, began working the ingredients together until large crumbs are formed. Add the water, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough together just until combined. (Do not overwork the dough).
- Flatten the dough out by hand into the prepared baking dish, making a ½-inch (1 cm.) edge on all sides. (The dough will be flaky and a bit uneven). Refrigerate the baking dish for 10-15 minutes.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until just golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the filling. Pour over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, until filling is set. Allow to cool to room temperature. Drizzle with powdered sugar just before serving.