What can I say about lemon bars? Everyone loves them. I think most people have made them. Some are super sweet, some have that sour pucker…..which I like. Some have a graham cracker crust but most are made with a shortbread crust. That is what I like. But I put a little bit of almond and vanilla in my crust. I also slightly undercook my crust, so that it is soft and tender and just melts in your mouth. M-mmm. I also use extra lemon zest. A dear friend of mine had a birthday today. I told her that I would bake her anything that she wants. She didn’t even hesitate. She wanted lemon bars……and lemon bars she got. Happy Birthday Stephanie.
2 sticks of softened butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup ground almonds (food processor makes this easy)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs
3 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of lemon zest
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of flour
For the crust: Heat oven to 350. Mix together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, almonds and vanilla. When it all comes together into a nice dough, place it into a 13×9 baking dish and press evenly until the dough covers the entire bottom of the pan. Chill for about 15 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes, until light brown. Allow to cool.
For the filling (oh yum, the best part): Whisk the eggs, sugar and zest together until well mixed. Add the lemon juice and the flour. Whisk, whisk until really smooth and all the little flour lumps are gone. If you have to smoosh the lumps against the side of your bowl, do that. You want a smooth filling! Pour the filling onto your cooled crust and bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. A very thin sugary crust will form on top. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Ohhhhhhhhhh, you are going to love, love these.
Note: you don’t have to use almonds in your crust. Just replace the almonds with flour. But its really good with almonds. Pistachios are great too. Maybe you should make two batches! one with nuts, one without! yes!