Lemon Bars. Tangy & Delicious.
It must be a spring thing — I’m on a serious lemon kick right now with visions of Lemonade Cakes and Lemon Cheesecake dancing in my head.
These Lemon Bars are not only delicious, but also easy to make. If you’re one of those, “But I Don’t Bake” kind of people, this is just the recipe for you.
Here’s what you need:
Lemons, Butter, Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Salt, Powdered Sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For this recipe, the butter MUST be soft. Leave your sticks of butter out to soften at room temperature for a couple of hours before you start baking.
In a mixer or large mixing bowl, combine 2 sticks of soft, gooey butter with 1/2 cup of sugar.
Mix the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined and very light yellow in color. In baking recipes, this step is always called “creaming”.
Creamy! This is why the butter MUST be soft and gooey. Otherwise you will have little lumps of butter in the sugar and not a creamy mixture like this.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with a pinch (1/8 teaspoon if you want to measure) of salt.
Always remember to level off the flour to get an accurate measurement.
SLOWLY and GRADUALLY add the flour to the butter mixing on the lowest speed.
Mixer Action Shot! Mix only until the flour has combined with the butter. Do not over mix.
Dump the dough into a 9×13 inch pan and press it around to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
You will need to put flour on your hands 3-4 times during this pressing process to keep your hands from sticking to and tearing the dough.
Bake the dough at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the top just begins to get golden brown. This will continue to bake with the filling so don’t over do it now.
While the crust bakes, make the lemon filling.
Grab a microplane, grater, or your favorite zesting tool and zest/scrape the outer yellow part off the skin of 2 lemons.
You only want the outer yellow part and not the white pithy part of the lemons. 2 lemons will give you about 2 Tablespoons of zest.
Now grab your favorite juicing tool and squeeze the juice out of 6 lemons.
Either a mechanical juicer or handheld juicing reamer will do the trick.
If you’re juicing by hand, be sure to strain out any seeds or large pieces of lemon pulp.
6 lemons will give you about 1 cup of juice.
Break 6 eggs into a large mixing bowl.
Give them a quick whisk to break up the yolks.
Add 3 cups of sugar to the eggs.
Add the lemon zest and 1 cup of lemon juice…
and 1 cup of flour to the bowl.
If you’re me, you’ll now realize that your cute purple bowl is too small. Don’t be me, start with a big mixing bowl.
Mix everything together trying to remove as many lumps as possible.
A few small lumps will remain and will go away as the lemon filling cooks.
When your crust has cooked for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and top it will the lemon filling mixture.
Just pour the lemon mixture all over the top of the crust.
Pop it back in the 350 degree oven for another 30 minutes, until the fillings is set and no longer jiggly.
Cool the bars COMPLETELY in the pan. Patience, grasshopper. Then sprinkle a little powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar) over the top to decorate.
Using a small strainer makes this easier to control.
Cut them into squares or triangles and snarf them down for breakfast….or be the better person and save them for a proper spring dessert.
Lemony Goodness. Happy Spring!
Here’s the recipe — adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa