I like to describe these bars as a little bit mysterious and unexpected. Awesome and delicious, but definitely different. I know what you’re thinking, I really do. Promise. You’re saying how could savory rosemary possibly go well with something sweet? Rosemary is made for roasted potatoes, meats or proteins, artisan breads, and crackers. And you’re right. BUT. With a little help from the gods (sugar) we can transform a savory herb into a sweet, tangy, and light dessert.
I’ve been trying to think of recipes that use rosemary, my favorite herb, because the plant in the garden is bursting. I mean like literally it’s huge and I don’t know what to make of it. So if ya need some, holler at me. I feel like seconds after i cut off a few sprigs, it shoots out 10 more. I’m struggling to keep up and this isn’t even all of it!See what I mean? Rosemary for days.
Anyways, this bar is not like a traditional lemon bar. It’s not thick and ooey gooey and bursting with lemon. Rather, its a lighter, chewy, taste sensation filled with hints of orange, grapefruit, lemon, and of course, rosemary. It has a pretty complex flavor and I promise you’ll be going back for more! Oh, and the aroma when these gems are baking is unreal!
Rosemary Citrus Bars
for the crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
6 tablespoons cold, cubed butter
2 teaspoons cold water
for the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice (i used pink grapefruit)
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar plus more for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 and butter and flour an 8×8 baking dish. To make the crust, add sugar to a small bowl and using a fork or your fingers, rub the chopped rosemary into the sugar. This is going to perfume the sugar and bring out all the rosemary goodness! Put flour, sugar mixture, and butter into a food processor and pulse until it starts to come together. Add the water and pulse until a dough has formed. Press dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges start to slightly brown.
For the filling, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until combined. Pour mixture over hot crust and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. When done, let cool. Cut bars into desired shape and dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container. Bars will last for about 3-5 days (unless you eat them all before then!)