While I was putting away some groceries today, I spotted two lemons sitting, hidden under some red onions, in the vegetable crisper and suddenly decided to make some lemon bars! I had been reading one of David Lebovitz’s blogs about making lemon bars with just two lemons and thought, this would be the perfect use for them! They were leftover from the fried chicken we made awhile back.
One of my favorite treats to have over some tea or a latte in some coffee shops while I was in college was a lemon bar. Perfectly tart with a crummbly crust? Perfection in a sizeable rectangle.
While I was making these, I made a mental note to check on the ratio of crust to filling. The one thing that I often miss about the lemon bars from coffeshop to coffeshop was enough filling to balance out the filling in the perfect forkful.
I even managed to use my husband’s prized Magic Bullet! It perfectly fit one recipe of filling. I ran it too smooth this time, I am going to make it a little bit more chunky next time.
Im not sure if the top of the lemon bars should look golden or white or what, but it did not become golden, which is really not a problem, since I have plans to dust some type of powder sugar design over the tops of each bar. The best way to check if it is ready to come out of the oven is to gently jiggle the pan, as you need to pull it out just before it has set.
Getting the bars cut was a bit of a struggle, even though it lifted quite easily off the pan – the crust was very hard to cut through. I think next time, I am going to bake the crust halfway, so thats its very lightly browned so that it stays more moist and more crumbly. If that doesnt work, I may try out some crumbled pie crust – which may work out better since I am thinking of making a gingersnap lemon bar, but we are going to have to work the kinks out of this one first. The lemon filling was pretty good with zesty bits of lemon that werent completely blended out – it was unexpected and wonderful! I wont be increasing the amount of crust however, it was a perfect ratio!
- 1 C (140g) flour
- 1/4 C (50g) sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 TBS (115g) melted, unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C.
Overturn an 8in square pan on the counter and wrap the outside snugly with foil, shiny side up. Remove the foil, turn the pan over, and fit the foil into the pan, pressing to nudge the foil into the corners. Then smooth it out the best that you can.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla, stirring with a fork unit it is just smooth. Smooth the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or a small, offset spatula to get it as level and even as possible.
Bake the crust for 25 mins or until it has turned a deep, golden brown.
Ingredients for Lemon Topping:
- 1 lemon, organic or unsprayed
- 1 C (200g) sugar
- 3 TBS (45ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from a second lemon)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 3 TBS (45g) melted, unsalted butter
While the crust is baking, cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds and cut the lemon into chunks. I cut off the endsbecause I didnt want the tips in the final product.
Put the chunks in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and lemon juice and let it run until the lemon chunks are comltely broken up.
Add the eggs, cornstarch, salt, and butter and blend until almost smooth. A few tiny bits of lemon pieces are normal and encouraged.
When the crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat of the oven to 300F/ 150C, pour the lmon filing over the hot rust and bake 25 mins or just until the filing stops jiggling and is abrely set.
Remove from the oven and let it cool complteely. Once it is cool, carefully lift it out by grasping the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles and sift powdered sugar over the top.
You can freeze these for up to one month, let them come to room temperature before serving.