Lemon Bars-Yummmmm

I have a recipe that I think you will like. It is for lemon bars. I have been baking these for years and I usually make half of this amount. But if you are having a party, make the whole thing. These are those great lemon squares you see in the bakery or at Starbucks. (Usually they cost about $2.50 or more each square.) Of course now that lemons are $1.69 each here in Hawaii….

I usually buy a big bag at Costco.

This recipe is from Afternoon Delights cookbook by James McNair and Andrew Moore. What they say about them is “These bars, with their shortbread base and a tangy topping that recalls lemon curd, are a perennial favorite. If using Meyer lemons, reduce the sugar in the topping to 2 1/2 cups.”

crust

1 cup unsalted butter at room temp. (two sticks)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teas salt

2 Cups bleached flour

Topping

6 large eggs

1/2 cup flour

3 cups sugar

pinch of salt

One cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 teas. lemon zest finely grated

Whisk all this together while crust is baking.

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. bake in middle

To make crust, beat butter in bowl, then add sugar/salt and then flour one cup at a time. Spread in pan and press plastic wrap on top to press and make smooth. Remove plastic wrap. Bake 20 min till golden brown.

Reduce temp to 325, pour topping on crust, Bake about another 20 min till it feels set in middle. Cool on rack. Cut in squares. Just before serving dust with powdered sugar. Can be stored at room temp for several hours or fridge for two days.

If they last that long.

Yesterday in the Sunday paper was another recipe for lemon bars. These are a little simpler and call for less ingredients, so it makes a more normal size amount. The crust is a little easier and you can just mix it by hand.

Crust: One cup flour, 1/8 teas salt, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, one stick butter melted but not hot. Press in 8 x 8 pan as above and bake at 325 for 20 min.

Topping: Two large eggs, 3/4 cup sugar,1 1/2 tablespoons flour, juice from two lemons, 2 teasp. grated zest. Whisk together while crust is baking.

Add to crust and bake another 20 minutes till just set. Cool in pan a few minutes and then transfer to rack.

There was a good method for getting bars out of pan on this recipe. Take a strip of heavy duty foil 8 x 16 and put in sprayed pan. Spray foil and press into pan, leaving ‘handles’ on two edges. When cooling bars, lift out foil by handles and place on rack.

These are both good, but I think if I had a gun to my head, I would choose the first recipe.

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