I was on the search for a good lemon bar recipe for a while…all came up short. Most had too little crust, or not enough lemon filling, or waaaay too much sugar! Even the amount I use in this recipe is the most that I’ve ever used! BUT that’s the price you pay when you’re dealing with desserts that require fresh lemon juice; hashtag, sorry-but-not-sorry!
FOR THE CRUST:
2 sticks (1 cup) of softened, unsalted butter
1/3 cup of sugar
2 cups of all purpose flour
the zest from 2 lemons
1/4 tsp of salt
FOR THE LEMON FILLING:
6 LARGE eggs
2 cups MINUS 2 Tablespoons of caster sugar
3/4 cup of sifted all purpose flour
1/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F.
1. Place your butter into a large mixing bowl and beat it until it has dispersed all over the bowl, about 20-30 seconds. Add in your granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds more. Add the flour, salt, and lemon zest and mix until combined and crumbly. Pour your shortbread mixture into a 13×9 inch glass pan and firmly press the mixture down, making a nice even layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges have turned slightly golden brown. When there’s about 10 minutes left, gather all of the ingredients for the lemon filling.
2. Into a large mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs, caster sugar, sifted all purpose flour, and salt. Finally, add in your fresh lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
3. Pour your lemon filling onto the hot crust, LOWER THE OVEN TEMP TO 325 DEGREES F. and bake for about 20 minutes, or until there’s a slight jiggle in the middle of your pan when you wiggle it.
4. Remove the pan from the oven, allow it to cool to room temp. and then place a piece of saran wrap over it. Refrigerate until lemon bars have fully set, about 3 hours, or even better, overnight!
5. Remove lemon bars from the fridge, and allow them to come to room temp before dusting with powdered sugar. Cut into squares and serve immediately!
-Make these ahead! Place lemon bars into the freezer after you’re done baking and pull them out whenever you want some! Make sure you allow it to come to room temp before dusting with powdered sugar.
-I usually get 3/4 cup of lemon juice from the larger lemons. If you use Meyer lemons, they are less acidic and require less sugar. If you use the tiny lemons, those are REALLY acidic, and I’d recommend using the full 2 cups of sugar.
-You may use any kind of 13×9 inch pan, but I just love the results of these in a glass pan.
-Dip your knife into some hot water before cutting into your lemon bars to get those perfect squares!
-To make caster sugar, just pulse granulated sugar in a food processor until smooth.
-Different pans yield different cooking times, so I’d recommend checking on your lemon bars after 15 minutes.
-Make sure your crust is fully baked before adding in your filling.