When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Bars

A small confession, before making them I’d never even tried lemon bars. They always look really gross every time I see them at bakeries, and something about them always screamed “FAT TREAT” to me. But I got tired of making the same things over and over again- how many cupcake, cookie, and brownie versions can I try before I get sick of them? With that in mind I literally googled “yummy desserts” and one of the treats everyone raved about was lemon bars. 

I searched for a good recipe and came upon this little Ina gem. And thus my Ina love continues- Ina & Jeffrey & Rozi forever! I have to say this is one of the best things that has ever come out of my oven. They were absolutely delicious, the perfect combination of sweet and sour, with a slightly crunchy buttery crust and a gooey tart lemon curd. Bonus point: they only got better with every day that passed (they lasted about 4 days). Even my dad, notorious for his dislike of desserts in a family that lives for them, loved these lemon bars. Definitely something I’ll be making in the future as well.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 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

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light. 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 and press it into a 9 by 13 baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Place in the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.

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. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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