Because every baker needs a simi-functional lemon bar recipe… and I’ve dealt with my fair share of dysfunctional ones in the past. Believe me. Some of my biggest baking disasters can be traced back to lemon bars. Below is a recipe that has yet to fail me, is super simple, and requires no additional frills (a.k.a. gelatin and other similar chemically enhanced gelatinous substances). Be warned, though, these aren’t your typical simperingly sweet Southern lemon bars. These babies pack a punch of bright lemon flavor. These also happen to be a personal favorite of a dear friend of mine that just happens (through total coincidence) to be celebrating her birthday today. So Happy Birthday Nicole!
Recipe is for a 9″x9″ pan.
- 1 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup Butter (1 stick)
- pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 2 tbsp Lemon Zest
- 5 Eggs
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (~177 C).
- Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with well greased aluminum foil.
- In a food processor combine all the ingredients for the crust, and pulse them together until a light crumb forms.
- Lightly press the crumbs across the bottom of the greased foil. You don’t need to form it into a firm, solid layer like a pie crust. It should more closely resemble a crumble topping that’s been slightly pressed in. It’ll bake into a solid bottom, while pressing it too firmly will make it tough and hard to cut through.
- Bake your crust for about 25 minutes.
- While your crust is baking, zest and juice, your lemons.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour and sugar.
- Whisk in the lemon zest.
- Pass your eggs through a sift and into the mixing bowl. This step keeps the tougher clumps of protein from getting into the bars, but you might need to use a spoon to help things along.
- Add the lemon juice, and whisk it all together until well combined.
- Pour the filling into the baked crust. Do not cool the crust before adding the filling. You should just pull the crust from the oven, pour in the filling, and return it to the oven.
- Bump the temperature down to 325 F (~163 C)., and bake the bars for 25 minutes.
- Allow the bars to cool fully, preferably overnight, before cutting into them with a hot knife.
- Dust with powdered sugar.