Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another Childhood Sweet: Lemon Bars

One of our favorite family recipes as kids was for lemon bars.

Here is a version where the lemon filling is thinner than what my mother use to make because I like just a little hint of lemon flavoring and don’t like to be overwhelmed with the tartness.

Also, make sure they are really cold when you serve them. And speaking of cold, like any homemade, fresh pastry, they go great with a big glass of milk.

For the crust:

• 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 2 cups flour

• 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

• 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

• 3 cups granulated sugar

• 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

• 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 1 cup flour

• Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool.

Place in refrigerator for several hours. Cut into large squares and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Bon Appetit!