Lemon bars were never my favorite growing up. The only time I remember them being served was at a church gathering, a pretentious luncheon, or a family reunion potluck. These events are fun, don’t get me wrong, but cakes, cookies, and pies were always my first choice and it seemed the lemon bars would be left all alone.
Maybe they have a bad rep because of their tartness. Ice cream isn’t a good mate for these square like it is on top of a slice of warm pie or sandwiched between two cookies. It’s a stand alone dessert that gets no love.
My fondness for these bars has grown as I’ve had more experience in my desserts and now I go for these more often than a normal baked good when given the choice.
If you’re more of a cakes, cookie, ice cream type of person I understand, but don’t leave little guys out. They are just as good and maybe even better since they’re made with fruit;)
Lemon Bars(adapted from Ina Garten)
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
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 a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.