Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lemon Bars

A few years ago in the beginning stages of my cooking and baking days, a friend gave me a jar of her homemade lemon curd.  With it, I made some lemon bars with an almond and coconut crumble on top.  In my memories, the bars were some of the greatest things I had ever baked--so good that I talked about them for years.  I have always wanted to remake them, but never have enough lemons on hand to make fresh curd.  After the braided lemon bread, however, I had a number of fresh lemons leftover and figured it was finally time to remake the delicious lemon curds I remembered.  Well, it turns out they weren't all that delicious, which was a rather gigantic bummer in my culinary book.

So I had to give a different lemon bars recipe another go.  And this time around they were incredible (no surprise because the recipe was very closely adapted from my favorite food blog.  These little guys were like a summer party in my my mouth.  Perfectly refreshing, tart, sweet, soft, and chewy.  When I once-upon-a-time-open-my-own-bakery these will definitely be present at the grand opening.  A friend of mine even claimed that they were better than the lemon bars found at my absolute favorite bakery in my absolute favorite town in the whole entire world.  Words truly cannot express how delicious these lemon bars are....

...although next time I may try to add a layer of cream cheese filling between the crust and the lemon custard.  That could truly be out of this world.

 







Lemon Bars:
Very closely adapted from this recipe.

For the Crust...
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fit a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick tinfoil.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer with your paddle attachment until smooth.  
  3. Add the flour and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low/medium, mix until just combined--it will be very doughy.
  5. Plop the dough into the prepared pan. 
  6. With well-floured fingers, smooth the dough on the bottom of the pan and try to make sure it is even all the way across.  
  7. Chill for a few minutes.
  8. Then bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown slightly.
For the Lemon Layer
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon zest
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup of flour
  • powdered sugar for dusting on top
  1. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour.  Make sure there aren't any clumps.
  2. Pour over the crust.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or a few minutes after the custard filling is set.  (No jiggles!)
  4. Cool completely.
  5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  6. Cut and serve.
  7. ENJOY!!!

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