My friend Evelyn, introduced me to the tradition of making a baby dinner for a couple who has a baby. I thought it was such a great tradition, that I started doing it for our friends who have a baby. The whole concept is really easy, make a homemade meal, package it up pretty, and drop it off to the new parents. They will now have something home cooked to eat while trying to figure it all out. The meal should have very little prep involved, making it even easier. Our baby dinners are the same most of the time; homemade pesto, enough for them to enjoy and tuck away extra into the freezer, some quality pasta, occasionally I toss in a package of great sausage, salad with homemade vinaigrette, a bottle of wine and something sweet. The sweet treat usually becomes a highlight for the new parents. I usually make outrageous brownies and once in awhile lemon bars. Recently I have been mixing it up with these scrumptious grapefruit bars.
Our friends, Daniel and Samantha had a baby boy, Dashiell, right before the holidays. With Christmas, New Years and traveling we never got a chance to take the “baby dinner” over until recently. This particular dinner I made a nontraditional Pesto, this batch was made with spinach, arugula, and toasted walnuts. I did not get a chance to try it on pasta but on the spoon, it was pretty good. Since we have pounds upon pounds of grapefruit I decided to make something else that is nontraditional with the “baby dinners, I made grapefruit with candied ginger bars. Thanks to the twitters I got the idea, so I added the ginger which was a great addition. I made a traditional sable crust for the base of the bars. Then I made an ultra-rich topping of grapefruit juice, lots of zest, eggs (lots), sugar and flour. The bars came out gooey (in a good way), a little tart and a little spicy, a bit too sweet (will cut the sugar down next time), they had a slightly crispy crust and overall, they were fantastic! Definitely one to something good here!
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½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cold water
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup grapefruit juice
Zest from grapefruit
3 tablespoons minced candied ginger
Preheat the oven to 350.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
Sift confectioner’s sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with dough attachment. Add the flour and pulse to mix.
Add the butter and pulse to combine.
Add water and pulse until smooth dough forms.
Press into the prepared pan evenly into the bottom and about ½ inch up the sides of the pan. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights.
Bake until the crust turns a deep golden brown about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, set aside and let cool.
While the crust is baking prepare your filling.
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, add the sugar and whisk until blended.
Add the grapefruit juice, zest, and ginger and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until blended.
When the crust is cool, remove the parchment paper, and take out the pie weights. Pour the filling onto crust.
Reduce the heat to 300 and bake for 45 minutes or until the center is not jiggly.
Let cool completely before slicing and cutting.
You may dust with more confectioner’s sugar before serving.