We have been harvesting lemons for about a week now. Our lemon trees produced far more lemons than we could possibly eat before going bad. I do love having fresh lemons in the house. These were particularly pretty. Picking them from the tree versus the produce bin means they are plump and unbruised from being bounced around in a truck for days. We have used them for tea, salad dressing, and, of course, the treat of the week.
Today we turn out a pan of one of my favorites. These lemon bars are delectable. They are sweet and tart and creamy. The shortbread crust would be perfect left as is, but we added a bit to the top, as well, in the form of crumble. If you have not tried lemon bar before, now is your chance. If you have and you love it, this is sure to become your favorite recipe.
savour… fresh from the garden
Get the rest after the jump…
Before you start:
This crust is sticky. Be sure to use a well floured surface (and hands) when forming your dough disk.
I used a piece of parchment and a smooth jar to press the dough into the pan. You can use your hands. A rolling pin will probably not fit inside the pan.
The butter and eggs for the filling should be at room temperature. The butter for the crumble must be cold.
Be sure to allow the finished product to cool completely. It is important for it to set up before you begin to cut the bars.
- 2 sticks butter (1/2 pound) at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 medium)
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Scraps from crust
- About ¼ cup flour
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
For the crust:
- Cream the butter and sugar together on medium low speed until light and fluffy.
- Whisk flour and salt together in separate bowl.
- With mixer on lowest speed, add dry mixture to the butter and sugar.
- Mix only until flour is moistened.
- Turn out onto a well-floured piece of parchment.
- Form a rectangular disk with the dough.
- Transfer the disk to a lightly greased 9x13 pan.
- Using floured hands and/or the parchment paper press the dough out evenly to cover the pan and up about ½ inch on the sides. The dough should be about ¼ inch thick. I like to use a jar to roll it out evenly under parchment. Be sure to work it into the corners.
- Dough should go about ¾ inch up the side of the pan. Cut off the excess in a straight line with a sharp knife. Reserve the scraps.
- Place tray in freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake crust in the oven for 15-20 minutes until very lightly browned.
- Remove and allow to cool while you make the filling and crumb topping.
For the filling:
- Place all filling ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Pour filling mixture into cooled crust.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
For the topping:
- While baking, place crust scraps in a small bowl.
- Add flour and sugar.
- Cut in enough cold butter in small pieces to make the mixture crumbly and stick together when pressed.
- Remove pan from oven after 20 minutes.
- Lightly rolling the crumble together with your fingers, sprinkle it over the surface evenly with some bigger pieces and some smaller pieces.
- Return pan to oven and bake additional 7-12 minutes or until the filling is set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Cut into evenly sized bars and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
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