Hubby loves lemon bars. Honestly I don’t like them at all. I’m just not a huge fan of lemon although I recently fell in love with this Lemon Yogurt Cake. I couldn’t stop eating it! The concept of lemon bars sounds fabulous – that buttery shortbread type crust with gooey lemony filling (if you like lemon that is)! But really this is one of those treats that just about everyone loves. I love how easy they are to make too!
When making something like lemon bars where you need a lot of lemon juice, you want to choose bright colored lemons without blemishes. They should be firm and heavy for their size which indicates that they are juicier. To yield even more juice, pop a lemon in the microwave for about 15 seconds and you’ll yield almost twice as much juice! Its a handy tip for all things lemon!
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 c flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 c flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x13 x2-inch baking sheet (or use a non-stick baking dish).
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 -20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Source: Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999.