I still remember the first time I made lemon bars. I was in college, and I was finishing up my spring finals. My roommates had already left for summer, and the contents of our cupboards and fridge were dwindling. But there still remained a bottle of lemon juice concentrate. And Betty Crocker just happened to have a recipe for lemon bars.
At the time, I didn’t realize that when a recipe called for lemon juice, you were supposed to actually buy some lemons and juice them. Not use concentrate. My mouth still puckers when I think of that first bite.
Since I’ve discovered the actual fruit, my desserts are much tastier. These bars…wow. Just a little bit packs a punch and provides satisfaction so you don’t have to worry about overdoing it. They are perfect to end a meal or enjoy with a mid-afternoon cup of tea.
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Ingredients for the crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 c all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
Ingredients for the filling:
7 large eggs (room temperature)
2 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 T grated lemon zest (4-6 lemons)
1 c freshly sqeezed lemon juice
1 c all-purpose flour
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (I used a dark pan, so I set my oven to 325).
2. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour and salt to the mixture until combined. Press the dough into a 9×13 inch pan, building up a 1/2 inch edge on all sides. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack and leave oven on.
3. For the filling, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour, whisk until combined. Pour over the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioner’s sugar.