Easy Lemon Bars

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.

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Easy Lemon Bars

(from King Arthur Flour)
Makes one 9×9 inch pan

Ingredients

Crust
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)
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

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the crust

  1. Stir together the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a medium size bowl.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.)
  4. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s light brown.

To make the topping

  1. Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, flour, and a pinch of salt.
  2. When the crust has finished baking and still hot, pour the topping over it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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