New Favorite Lemon Bars
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 21st 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
My new favorite lemon bars, updated!
When developing recipes, I love creating something that becomes a new favorite, such as these lemon bars. Sometimes I take a favorite recipe and see if I can somehow make it even easier or tastier. Take for instance my chocolate mayonniase cake. I replaced the water in the recipe with freshly brewed coffee and the recipe instantly transformed into something even better than before! It is amazing what a little change here or there does to transform a recipe! People ask me all the time what they can do to make their baked goods taste better. My first question back to them is if they use salt in their baked good recipes. Most of the time they look at me puzzled and tell me no, salt is for savory items only! No! This is not true! Salt is very important in baked products and makes the final result taste so much better than something with no salt added. Sometimes I even sprinkle a little finishing salt on my final dessert.
I have shared a couple of lemon bar recipes in my cookbooks as well as a lemon bar recipe in a previous column that I shared here with everyone, but these lemon bars are my new favorites! I love the easy shortbread crust and the easy filling. These lemon bars are sweet and tangy without being overbearing in taste or texture. I could go on and on about how fabulous these are but I really think you need to make them so you can see for yourselves! These are also the perfect make ahead dessert bars because when left at room temperature, or even chilled in the refrigerator, the filling firms up and transforms into almost like a thicker pudding texture. Dust the final bars with powdered sugar if desired or even sprinkle a little powdered sugar and lemon zest combination on top for a little extra punch! These are perfect for the spring time!
New Favorite Lemon Bars
Feel free to dust as much, or as little, powdered sugar on top of these as you desire. I personally love them with a mountain of powdered sugar sprinkled on top but not everybody likes the taste or texture.
For the crust…
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon salt
For the filling…
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¾ cups white granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
½ cup fresh lemon juice
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl combine the softened unsalted butter, white all-purpose flour, powdered sugar and salt with a fork. You may even want to use your hands for this. Once the mixture is combined, press lightly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place into preheated oven and bake for 33 minutes.
Once baked remove from oven. In a large bowl whisk together the lightly beaten large eggs, white granulated sugar, lemon zest and white all-purpose flour. Whisk in the lemon juice last and immediately pour the filling over the prebaked crust.
Place back into preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
The filling should be slightly giggly but still rather firm. The lemon bars will slightly thicken and firm up as they cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar, if desired and cut into squares. Leftovers should be kept refrigerated and will last 4 days if chilled.
Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about a previous column and recipe for orange bars. People have been curious if they can freeze them in advance and then bring them to room temperature before serving. Yes! You absolutely can. What I would do, is bake the bars, cool and precut them. Wrap them well in aluminum foil and freeze them either in the pan or individually. Bring them to room temperature and then dust them with powdered sugar.