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YIELDS:

20 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 40 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 55 mins

TOTAL TIME:

1 hours 35 mins

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ingredients

For the crust:

1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Confectioners’ sugar,

2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the filling:

8 Large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)

1 cup flour

For the preparation

Cooking spray

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1/2 Lemon, for Lemon zest curls and/or fresh raspberries to garnish,  optional

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray

2. Place the flour, corn starch, salt and Confectioners’ sugar in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and mix for a few seconds. Add the butter and mix to blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 15 seconds.  Dump the crust into the prepared pan and press until you form the crust on the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan (about 3/4 inch up the side of the pan).  To make this a little easier, use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass.

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until really cold.  Then, bake the crust until golden and lightly browned around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour in a stand mixer. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar

5. Garnish with tiny curls of lemon zest or fresh raspberries.

NOTE: Everyone loves lemon bars but when your neighbor brings you a bag of fresh lemons from their yard, making them is a must.  I just could not believe the difference between fresh lemons right off the tree and store bought lemons.  Several things stood out:

  • The backyard lemons were two to three times bigger than the store bought lemons.
  • The skin on the store bought lemons was really thick and hard.  The backyard lemons had softer skin and less pith on the inside.
  • The fresh lemons from her garden were so juicy.  I got 3 – 4 times more juice from her lemons then the store bought ones.
  • The flavor was off the charts!  Sweeter, tangier, more lemony (If that is a thing) then the lemons bought at the grocery store.

I don’t usually make such a big deal out of a lemon but the difference was enormous both in looks and taste.  With that said, my recipe calls for 4-6 lemons.  I only needed three of the “right off the tree” variety so keep that in mind when making the recipe.  If you live in an area where neighbors offer fresh lemons, be sure to take advantage of that.

You’ll notice I garnished with little lemon zest curls (They are cute, right?).  How do you make lemon zest curls you ask?

To make lemon zest curls, simply use a vegetable peeler to peel off a large strip of lemon peel.  Then, using a sharp knife, slice little strips of the lemon.  (see photos below) If they are thin enough, they’ll curl with a gentle squeeze.  I use them to garnish cakes, muffins, salads and event roast chicken.  Delicious.

One last tip:  be sure to let the lemon bars completely cool before cutting and dusting with confectioner’s sugar otherwise, the sugar melts right into the lemon custard.  If you make a batch, be sure to send me photos.  Love to see you in action.

For other dessert recipes, visit my dessert page.  If you’d like to get recipes, food finds and travel recommendations sent right to your mailbox, sign up for my newsletters here.

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