While the weather might not be completely in line with the fact that it’s April, to me it’s Spring. Which means flowers, sun, picnics, my birthday and wonderful new bounty of fruit & veggies to eat.
It also means I can start baking lemon bars again; which makes me incredibly excited. Now I’ve always loved lemon; whether it’s for savory uses at dinner or to help brighten up a delicious dessert it can heighten a dish to another level. But the best form of lemony goodness is in a simple lemon bar. Crusty, flaky bottom topped with sugary, tart lemon filling. It’s both parts decedent and light, sure to satisfy whoever it is you’re entertaining.
As all things, there are 1000’s of recipes out there on the best way to make the perfect lemon bar. I have a few stand by’s that I truly enjoy but one of my main focuses in picking recipes are looking at the ingredients. I’m always drawn to simple ingredients and a simple process; to me those are always the best outcomes.
Now go bake some of these and have a picnic this fine Spring weekend.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-x-13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.
- Start by making the crust. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and mix until combined. Add flour until incorporated and dough is smooth. Using your fingers, press into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Mix together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. While the wet ingredients are mixing, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Pour dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined. Pour lemon mixture over the crust. Return pan to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until bars appear to be set. Remove from the oven and let pan cool on wire racks until completely cool before cutting into triangles. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!
- Store lemon bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bars also freeze well.
Photo Credit: The Baker Chick