Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lemon Bars

Too many eggs with no idea what to do with them... what's a girl to do?  Bake, of course!  I considered egg-heavy concoctions like creme brule and angel food cake, but ultimately decided on two types of bars, lemon and pecan pie.  Each recipe calls for 4 eggs, and with 10 eggs to spare, an 8 egg dent in my supply (plus some pretty tasty bars) sounded like a pretty good deal!

I never cease to be amazed by the things I can make with ingredients I already have-- avoiding a trip to the grocery store on a weeknight just makes baking that much more fun!  I had everything I needed for these lemon bars on hand.  The pecan pie bars are another story-- I'm running low on pecans, so I will have to venture out to the grocery store before I can take those on.

Lemon Bars Recipe

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Dash of salt (if you use unsalted butter like I did)
Lemon Custard Filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
    • 2/3 cup lemon juice makes for a very "lemony" taste, which a like, but reduce lemon juice and flour slightly for a less tart taste (be warned though, the less lemon juice you use, the more "eggy" the bars will taste, which some people don't care for)
  • Confectioners sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a 13x9" baking pan with parchment paper (trust me.. do not omit the parchment paper or the struggle to remove the caramelized edges of the bars from the edges of the pan will be epic)
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the crust ingredients.  The consistency will be slightly crumbly once fully mixed.
  4. Pour the crumbly crust mixture into the 13x9" pan lined with parchment paper and use your fingers to press the mixture flat into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until firm and golden
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the lemon custard, first mixing the sugar and flour together and then adding the eggs and lemon juice
  7. Pour lemon custard mixture over baked crust
  8. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven
  9. Allow bars to completely cool (at least one hour) before lifting the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper
  10. Sprinkle bars with confectioners sugar
  11. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into 2 inch squares (to prevent the knife from sticking to the bars, lightly butter the blade of the knife on both sides prior to cutting)
  12. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve
Base recipe: with modifications

Taste Test Impressions: These turned out exactly as expected-- tart and sweet and buttery.  The only modifications I would make would be baking the crust slightly longer so that it was slightly browner-- I don't think I had the placement of my oven rack quite centered, so the baking time may have been a little off.  Otherwise, these turned out quite delicious (if I do say so myself)!


  1. Maya sez:

    These bars were good enough to make me eat a bunch and then pretend like it wasn't me that ate them. I went so far as to complain that there weren't enough bars. They were very lemony, maybe a wee less lemon, however, reducing the lemon runs the risk of having "eggy" lemon bars. The only thing worse than an eggy lemon bar would be to have poop rubbed in your eyes. I've eaten a lot of lemon bars purchased from coffee shops in my day, and most of them were thicker on the top, but extremely eggy. I was insulted that these coffee shops were trying to rub poop in my eyes. The powdered sugar on top is a nice addition. I looked at them and thought, wow, this salad bar has a lot of cheese on top. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I bit into said salad bar to discover it was one of my favorite desserts. SO GOOD. SO. SO. GOOD.

  2. After having these on the second day, I would like to say that the amount of lemon is PERFECT. Not too much.

  3. Splendid! As always, thank you for your careful consideration!!

  4. In a word, Delish! Just the right amount amount of lemon. The crust is not too dense or too flaky, it's perfect. Don't change a thing.