I have loved lemon bars for years, but never really could find the perfect recipe until this one. Not too sweet or sour, they are hands down my favorite square that doesn’t include chocolate, and are guaranteed to be a hit every time. I highly recommend that you use parchment paper so that the filling doesn’t cook to the sides of your pan and it’s easy to remove the bars from the pan in one go. Don’t be tempted to prick the crust with a fork to keep it from puffing up a little. If you do, filling will seep under the crust and they won’t turn out very well. Also make sure to use fresh lemons, and never, ever bottled lemon juice.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F, and line a 9x9 inch square pan with parchment paper.
Make the crust:
In a bowl with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and lemon zest together. Add to the butter mixture and combine. The result will look like a butter cookie dough. Press it evenly into the bottom of your parchment paper lined pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are browned. Once it’s finished, you want to pour in the finished filling right away and put it back in the oven.
In a clean electric mixer bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust and return it to the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top is dry and the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
When completely cooled, dust the squares with icing sugar, and slice. I keep them in a sealed airtight container in the fridge. I doubt they will last very long!
Makes 12 bars
Adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook