Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the Kitchen: Lemon Bars

This classic dessert is always a crowd favorite and surprisingly easy to make from scratch. The refreshing blend of sweet and tart makes it a perfect treat for the warm Spring days ahead. Chances are you have most of the ingredients in your cupboards, so pick up a lemon and get to it! You'll find a printable recipe card at the end of the post.

2 cups flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
3/4 cup juice of lemon
1/4 cup half & half, light cream or milk
powdered sugar for garnish

Heat oven to 350°. In a large bowl mix flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender until it looks like coarse crumbs.

Grease a 13x9 baking dish (or what I do for easier removal when making any kind of bars is line the pan with foil, then grease the foil - I use Pam with flour spray, works awesome!)

Press the dough mixture firmly into the pan and bake 18 minutes (don’t overcook).

For the filling, you'll need grated lemon peel. Using a fine grater, grate just the yellow skin of the lemon until you start to see the white rind inside. You'll grate most of the skin of a palm sized lemon to get one teaspoon.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs, mix in sugar, flour, cream, lemon peel and lemon juice (I squeeze what I can out of the lemon after grating the peel then use bottled juice for the rest).

Pour filling over hot crust and bake 15-18 minutes until center is set. It won’t look much different but will turn from a liquid to solid consistency.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill in the fridge until cold, sift powdered sugar on top before serving. Enjoy!

You can store leftovers covered in the fridge but the powdered sugar will dissolve, so you may want to cut smaller portions to sift with sugar and serve if you don't expect the entire pan to disappear in one sitting. (fat chance, right? :)

And find more easy and delicious recipes here.

p.s. That beautiful plate is made by the talented Whitney Smith.


is me said...

I love lemons, but hate powdered sugar... actually, refined sugar is just too sweet to me and takes away from the lovely tart lemons! You know, you can substitute honey for the sugar (and add less of the other liquids) or splurge and use Maple Sugar instead and they taste WAY better! At least, I think so... ;}

Those still look really good though! ;}

lillyella said...

Interesting! I'll have to try it with honey. We have a bee keeper in the family so always have plenty!

That does remind me though that I should mention this recipe is not very sweet, it's more tart as that's how I like it (even with the powdered sugar on top).

If you prefer your lemon bars on the sweeter side, up the powdered sugar in the crust and the refined sugar in the filling.

Sydney said...

Wow, these photos make me want to nibble on my computer screen a little. These sound wonderful

Trish said...

Yummo!! I love lemon bars. And tart is perfect! Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Thanks! Will be trying these! Always looking to try different lemon bar recipes! The zest is the best!

Liane said...

i think lemon bars are my most favorite dessert.

Mandy said...

I have been craving these for about 2 weeks and just happened across your recipe tonight. Yummo! I will be trying these out this week! Thanks Nicole!


silverdot said...

This is my absolute favorite treat! My Mom used to make these for me when I was a kid. Now I feel all nostalgic. :)

Waterrose said...

I love lemon bars and I just want to reach in a take one of those! They look scrumptious. Thanks for the reminder...think I'll make some this weekend!


I'm going to make these for my Studio open house this weekend...and maybe they'll actually make it there!

pinkkiss said...

I made these last night for a meeting I had to go to and they were delicious! Thanks for the great recipe:)