Luscious Lemon Bars

March 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

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It is finally spring!! The weather has been quite bizarre this winter but I’m ready for some sunny spring days. With the change of the season, I’ve been craving bright, fresh flavors and these luscious lemon bars are the perfect answer!

I’ve always loved lemon bars for the creamy, tart filling on top of a rich shortbread base. But sometimes I have trouble finding ones that have just the right balance of sweetness and tartness or crust and filling. After some searching, I figured it would be much easier and more satisfying if I just make them from scratch.

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These lemon bars are my absolute favorite! There is a perfect ratio of buttery shortbread to luscious, tart lemon filling that makes these super addicting. I love the freshness that the tart lemon filling provides but there isn’t too much that it makes your whole mouth pucker. They are also really simple to make and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand so there’s no excuse to not make these lemon bars!

Happy Spring!

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Luscious Lemon Bars

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 15 lemon bars

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp grated lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and line with parchment paper, ensuring there is an overhang on two opposite sides.

Crust

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. With the mixer running on low, gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture until just incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan, and using floured hands, press the dough into a flat, even layer with a 1/2-inch edge on all sides.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack and leave the oven on.

Lemon Curd Filling

In large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, sifting the flour first. Pour the lemon filling into the baked crust. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until filling is set but still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. The bars will continue to firm up as they cool. Let cool completely at room temperature on a wire rack.

Use the parchment paper overhang to slowly lift the lemon bars out of the baking pan. Cut into squares or triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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