Monday, February 24, 2014

Lemon Bars

Do you ever just want something really lemony, tangy and yet a little bit sweet?  Sometimes we do.  Plus, Charlie loves lemon desserts.  When we are in the mood, I pull out this lemon bar recipe and get baking.  I love these lemon bars because:

a) the crust has the perfect amount of crispness and sweetness
b) the lemon layer is full of tang and the dusting of powdered sugar sets it off beautifully
3) aren't they elegant looking?

Lemon Bars

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp

Lemon Filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (about two large lemons worth)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • extra powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.  Lightly butter a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and line with wax or parchment paper allowing edges to come over the sides.  Pulse flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor.  Add butter and blend, 8 to 10 seconds, and then pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Sprinkle mixture into prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer with slightly raised sides to hold in the filling.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes; remove from oven, place on a wire rack and let cool slightly. After crust is finished baking, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

While crust is baking, make the lemon filling:  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour; stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to blend well.  Pour mixture onto the pan on top of the warm crust.  Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F, or until the filling feels firm when touched lightly. Remove from oven and transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes. After cooling, grasp the parchment paper and carefully lift the bars onto a cutting board. Cut into serving size squares or bars, wiping your knife clean between cuts if necessary.  Sieve powdered sugar over bars and serve.

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