Yuzu. I don’t have a list of botanical facts I can tell you about this fruit other than it’s similar to a lemon and its skin looks like cellulite. If you’ve never heard of this citrus, the one thing you should know is that it’s incredibly aromatic. And strong. And very healthy for you. (I can’t say that it will be healthy for you once you use this recipe, but nonetheless, it’s worth it!)
The juice and rind of this fruit is often made into a marmalade or honey tea, or sometimes you may even find this flavoring in your ramen. My friend gave me a suggestion to make a recipe using this fruit and I decided to make these Yuzu bars. The recipe here is from my Brown Butter Lemon Bar recipe, and it has been modified to accommodate Yuzu which is higher in acidity. As this citrus isn’t available fresh in our area, I found the juice in Japanese supermarkets.
The bottle on the right is is the Yuzu juice from my local Japanese supermarket. Try to find one that is 100% pure Yuzu juice. Some come with salt added, or mixed with some other citrus. The small jar on the left is the Korean Citron tea, which is often made by diluting the jelly in hot water. I decided to add this as I liked how it contains small bits of candied rind.
To make the crust, mix everything with a stand mixer or a hand held until just combined. You don’t want to over mix as it will make for a tough crust!
Spread the dough out into your buttered and floured baking pan. It may not look like a lot of dough, but it is the perfect amount for this bar.
I like to crumple my parchment paper into a ball before I use it, that way it can easily get all the corners and edges. Once it is lined, you can also spread the dough more evenly by pressing the parchment flat across the dough to smooth it out. Line with pie weights and bake until it is beautifully golden brown. The darker it is, the more nutty the crust will taste.
While that is baking, make the filling. Combine the flour, sugar, juice, and marmalade/Citron tea and whisk until lump free.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and set aside. When the crust is a minute or two away from being done, whisk the eggs into the juice mixture. You don’t want to do this too early as the acidity may affect the eggs!
Remove the parchment paper to reveal golden goodness.
Immediately pour in the filling mixture. You should hear a light sizzle as the filling touches the crust and the sides of the pan. If you were to bake this on a cold crust, the filling will just soak into the crust instead of baking on top of it. (I have made this mistake before….)
Bake until the center of the filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is wiggled. Your kitchen will now be filled with the beautiful aroma of Yuzu and butter.
Allow it to completely cool. It will continue to set and firm up as it cools. If you cut it too early while it is still warm, it will be gooey and you will not get clean cuts.
I always like to cut the bars first before dusting with powdered sugar. The lines are much cleaner without the sugar wedging itself between each bar and slice.
Each bite will have the marriage of floral citrus flavor from the yuzu and the warm nutty tones from the brown butter crust. Between the lemon bar and yuzu bar, sorry lemon, my allegiance is now to the yuz.
Yuzu Brown Butter Bars
Brown Butter Crust
1/2 c powder sugar
1 1/2 c plain flour
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt
1/2 c plain flour
2 1/3 c sugar
5 fluid oz 100% Yuzu juice
3 Tbsp Yuzu marmalade or Korean Citron Tea (with Yuzu rind), optional
6 eggs + 1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- To make the crust, sift the icing sugar, flour, and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- With the paddle attachment, add the butter and mix on a low speed just until a dough forms. Put the dough in the pan and press it evenly into the base.
- Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust about 30-40 minutes, until bakes to a golden color.
- While the crust is baking, make the filling. Combine the flour, sugar, Yuzu juice, and Yuzu marmalade/Citron jelly (optional) in a large mixing bowl. Mix until there are no lumps of flour or sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the egg yolk with salt. When the crust is just about done, add the eggs into the lemon and sugar mixture and whisk until well combined. Do not do this earlier as the acid from the fruit may effect the consistency of the eggs.
- Once the crust is golden, remove the parchment and pie weights. Pour the filling into the crust.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 F and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until the center is set.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting. Dust with icing sugar to serve.