Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 146! Romania - Prajitura cu Lamanie (Lemon Bars) - Up Next, Russian Federation


My husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Wait. What? Somehow 20 years sounds and feels so solid. We've lived a whole lot of life, easy and hard, and we're still here -- together. So, this is the kind of man I'm married to: He gets home from work, tells me to hop in his truck because we're taking a ride. Never one to turn down a mystery invitation, I eagerly oblige. We pull up in front of Sears, and I'm thinking "woowhoooo" we're shopping for a new weed whacker. As we're passing by the stoves, he nonchalantly asks me which one I like best. I point to my fav, and next thing I know, he's hailed the appliance dude, whipped out a wad of cash (he's a plumber and scrap copper is at an all time high) and the stove is mine. Just like that. I'm speechless, psyched and spoiled. I love you, Liam, you're the man. And you you're mine.

Now, a quick word about this recipe. I'm pretty sure that these Prajitura cu Lamie (Lemon Bars) are a modern day spin on an old school Romanian classic for a more traditional lemon loaf. If you're kind enough to  be reading this, and you're Romanian, I'd love to know what you think. I made a point to work from a Romanian website, but when I cross-referenced the recipe, I found many more that were more cake/loaf like. Regardless, this recipe is sublime. A shortbread crust and lemon curd-like topping tastes like summer in a pan. Sweet, tart and beautiful, it's the perfect treat for a warm June night no matter where you live.

Located at the cross roads of central and south eastern Europe, Romania sits on the lower Danube within and outside of the Carpathian arch, bordering the Black Sea. Romania shares its borders with Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria. Romania emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united. By the end of WWII, many north eastern areas of Romanian territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, but with the fall of the iron curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began transitioning toward a democracy and capitalist market. In 2007, Romania joined the European Union.

Culinary traditions in Romania have been influenced by Ottoman, German, Serbian and Hungarian cuisine. Soups, stews, meat and fish dishes are often given an extra twang and soured using lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, vinegar and fermented wheat. Plum brandy is a popular alcoholic beverage (which I'd like to try to make). Stuffed cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, mama liga (like polenta) all topped with sour cream are commonly served. Sausages and pork are the preferred meat, but beef, chicken and lamb are eaten as well. Vegetables include, but are not limited to: peppers, eggplant, kohlrabi, cabbage, mushrooms and leaks.

Crust




Topping





Prajitura cu Lamaie (Lemon Bars) - Adapated from romanianfoodrecipes.com

Crust

1-1/2 four
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter

Topping


3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1-1/2 large lemons)
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. four

Preheat oven to 350 F and butter a 9x9 square pan.
To prepare the crust, mix four, confectioner's sugar and salt together.
Cut butter into the dry ingredients using two knives or a pastry blender.
Press mixture into prepared pan to form the crust.
Bake 10-15 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside (do not turn oven off)
To make the topping, beat the eggs and lemon juices in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, sift together the sugar and flour.
Gradually add the four and sugar mixture to the eggs, mixing well. Stir or whisk until smooth.
Pour the filling over the crust and bake 15-20 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool, then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar if desired and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

(C) 2010-2011, What's Cooking in Your World?/ Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved 


12 comments:

Danielle said...

These look delicious - I love lemon bars.

danielle

Sylvie + family said...

Warmest Congratulations Sarah and Liam ! And what a lovely, personal attention ! Greetings from sunny Normandy.

sadie said...

Thanks, Danielle! Easy to make too - I hope you try them!

sadie said...

Thank you, Sylvie! I hope you and your family are having a wonderful vacation!

Laraine said...

These were clearly the hit of my July 4th BBQ!

sadie said...

Thank you, as always, for your kind words, Laraine. I'll hope you'll try the blueberry lime curd tarts - I think they'll be right up your alley!

Astrid said...

Happy belated anniversary! Gosh! That was a gift! It looks so coooool! :) Lemon tartes has to be tried, one day....

sadie said...

thank you, Astrid! A gift indeed. I'd been working off 2 burners for over a year - what a treat it is to suddenly have a fully functional stove :) Oh, and lemon bars were divine!

Young Werther said...

Congratulation on your anniversary!

Way to a guy is through his stomach and what a lucky guy!!! :)

sadie said...

thanks on both counts, Mr. Werther!

Andreea Stuparu said...

I don't remember ever eating this, but it looks delicious! In Romania, we really like our pastries (they're very cheap too :-)) and we have tons of different recipes. I would say "cozonac" and "papanasi" are the more famous traditional recipes.
Btw, I love the idea of your blog ;-)

sadie said...

Hi Andreea! Thanks so much for your comment. Unless I know someone from the country I'm cooking, I can't always be 100% how authentic a representation it is. I think I may go back and try either one of the two you suggested. If you have a good recipe (and time), could you email it to me? I'd love to make it and of course, give you full credit! Best, Sarah