Winter Citrus Bars with Tangelo & Blood Orange
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Serves: 16 bars
I’ve loved Lemon Bars forever, but lately could not get the concept of an Orange Bar out of my mind. I was determined to try my hand at them while citrus season is still in full swing, but the idea in my head took some trial, and many errors, before it was fit to print. . I knew my first trial didn’t quite hit the mark, but sent several over to my mom, Neeners, who snorted, “Do not spend any more time on those. Move on to something else – they were horrible and I threw them out”. Does this paint a picture of parental nurturing and support in your mind, as it does to mine? Neeners’ quite accurate review just made me all the more determined, and I now think these bars are well worth making – a crispy shortbread crust, topped with a creamy, slightly tangy orange layer that has been brightened with the flavors of both tangelos and a colorful blood orange. Neeners has declared these bars as ‘Sumptuous’, which is what she calls everything she likes, but it’s a far cry better than her first review.
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (I cube) of butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tangelo, juiced
  • 1 blood orange juiced
  • Approximately 3 ounces orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line an 8x8 pan with foil, leaving enough to go over the sides. This is so that you can pull the bars out of the pan once they have cooled, and you won’t have to pry them out of the pan with a knife. They are quite stubborn, so you will thank yourself for doing this later. Spray the foil generously with cooking spray, especially the sides.
  4. In a food processor, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Cut the butter into about ½ inch pieces and drop onto the flour and continue pulsing until well combined. If you don’t have a food processor, use a hand-held pastry blender to cut the butter in until the mixture is crumbly.
  5. Pat the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan and push down hard, forming a crust. Do the best you can to make sure it’s evenly distributed.
  6. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. The crust will start to turn a light golden brown, which is right on the money for where you want to be.
  8. In the food processor (or a mixing bowl if you don’t have a food processor), combine the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse/stir together to blend.
  9. Next, get out a measuring cup. Add the tangelo juice and blood orange juice, then check to see how many ounces you came up with. Add enough orange juice concentrate to come up to the 6-ounce measure on the measuring cup. (I have been known to cheat and add another couple of ounces of orange juice concentrate if I had some to get rid of with no ill effects, other than a slightly creamier texture of filling, so live dangerously if you want).
  10. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  11. Add juice mixture to egg/sugar mixture and process/beat until well blended and kind of frothy. Set aside and wait for your crust to get done.
  13. When the crust comes out of the oven, immediately pour the egg/juice mixture over the top and return to the oven.
  14. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the topping stops jigging when you move it. Depending on the temperament and temperature of your oven, this can take longer or less than 20 minutes, so start peeking at it around the 15 minute mark. It might take as long as 30 minutes, so there is no room for panic if it seems to be taking its own sweet time.
  15. When the filling is set, remove from oven and cook on a cooling rack.
  16. Pull your bars out by lifting up on the foil sling you made, gently pull down the sides of the foil, cut those guys up and have a citrus feast!
  17. PS: It’s always a nice touch to sprinkle the tops of these guys with powdered sugar if you are serving to anybody as opposed to eating straight out of the refrigerator like I do, and on that note – keep bars refrigerated when not munching.
Recipe by Bird's Nest Bites at