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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Classic Lemon Bar

Lemon bars. They are one of Dan's favorite desserts; his grandma used to make them.  When we were newly married, I made them from a box, and... well, he didn't like them, and didn't eat them.
We've both come a long way since then - he knows to be kinder in criticism, I've learned that honesty really is the best policy, and I've since learned to bake.

So, I decided to revisit them, now that I've got some "legitimate" baking experience under my belt.
I searched the internet, and found this recipe.  I loved that it had both American and European measurements!

What you'll need:
- mixer with whisk attachment (standing or hand held) or pastry cutter and whisk
- 9x13 baking sheet
- baking paper
- non-stick spray
- kitchen scale (optional)
- measuring cups
- lemon squeezer
- sifter for powdered sugar (optional)


Shortbread base:
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cubed

Lemon filling:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice (for me, that came to about 2 1/2 lemons)

+ powdered sugar and lemon slices for garnishing.


1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F / 180 °C (325 °F / 162 °C for convection oven).

2. Line pan with baking paper or aluminum foil.  Spray with non-stick spray.

3. We're going to start with the shortbread base. In your standing mixer's bowl, using a whisk attachment, combine flour, corn starch, sugar and salt.  Bring speed to a medium low.  As the whisk is going, start adding the cubed butter (or use a pastry cutter).  Mix until just starting to combine.

4. Press down into the bottom of pan, and level out as much as possible.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until just starting to get golden around edges.  Remove from oven, and set aside.

6. While it's baking, start working on filling.  Whisk together (by hand, or using a mixer) sugar and flour.  Add eggs and lemon juice until fully combined. 

7. Poor over shortbread, place back in oven, and bake at the same heat for an extra 18-22 minutes, until lemon filling is set (when you shake it, it seems pretty firm).  

8. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

9. Lightly cover, and chill further in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

10. Remove from pan, cut into squares (12 squares work out pretty perfectly).

11. Sift powdered sugar over top, garnish with a slice of lemon - and you have the perfect "come on, Spring!" dessert!

There is nothing like a tart, bright yellow dessert to get you in the mood for Spring!

This time around, Dan loved the lemon bars, and told me that they were "almost" as good as his grandma's - I'll take it!! There's really no way to compete with grandma, and I wouldn't even want to. :)

And there you go! :)
Do you enjoy lemon desserts?  What is your favorite?

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