I’ve made nearly every iteration of lemon bars, and this recipe for Easy Lemon Bars lives up to its name. The crust is super thin and crispy with a hint of lemon from the lemon zest, and the lemon topping is smooth and slightly tangy. The original recipe provided fairly vague directions so I’ve rewritten it to reflect how I made these. I also added extra lemon juice and lemon zest to ensure a slight mouth puckering experience.
Easy Lemon Bars
(from King Arthur Flour)
Makes one 9×9 inch pan
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) cold butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioners’ sugar
lemon zest from one medium size lemon (you’ll use the lemon juice for the topping)
2 large eggs
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
Juice from one medium size lemon
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
a pinch of salt
confectioners’ sugar, optional; for topping
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the crust
- Stir together the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a medium size bowl.
- Using a stand mixer (or hand held mixer), beat together the butter cubes and the flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture until well combined (but do not overmix to ensure a tender crust)
- Press the mixture into an ungreased 9-inch square pan. The crust will be very thin, but make sure to spread it all the way to the edges. (You could also press the crust into an 8-inch square pan to have a slightly thicker crust. I will probably do that next time I make this recipe.)
- Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s light brown.
To make the topping
- Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, flour, and a pinch of salt.
- When the crust has finished baking and still hot, pour the topping over it.
- Return the pan to the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the lemon topping appears set (or nearly so). Check the make sure the edges don’t burn.
- Remove the bars from the oven, and cool them on a rack. When cool, sprinkle the top of the bars with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Note: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Do not sprinkle the confectioners’ sugar on the bars if you won’t be eating them immediately.