Lemon Bars

~ very lemony lemon bars ~

‘Tis the season for lemons. Actually, late winter is the season for lemons, but happily the season spills into spring, offering up bushels of citrus which beget light and lovely desserts, such as these Lemon Bars. Lemon Bars are a family favorite, a quintessential childhood treat that pleases adults and kids alike. The key to a good lemon bar, in my book, is that the filling must be intensely lemony packing a wallop of tart, with just enough sugar, but not so sweet that it’s cloying. The final touch is a pinch of sea salt, which keeps the sweetness in check and allows the lemon to shine through.

Lemon Bars

This recipe is adapted from and inspired by many sources, including Ina Garten and, most recently, Lucas’ Lemon Bars from Food52, as well as my personal weakness for sea salt. Makes 32 two-inch square bars.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cool, cut in cubes

4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Sea salt flakes, such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan. Line with parchment and butter the parchment. Combine the pastry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until the dough resembles coarse lumps and just begins to come together. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and, with your fingers, evenly press the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until it just begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Whisk the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until blended. Evenly pour over the crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is set but not coloring, about 25 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a rack. Cut into bars. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and lightly sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

If you like this, you might enjoy these lemony recipes:
Olive Oil, Lemon and Sea Salt Sundaes from the Kitchn
Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake from TasteFood
Lemon Tassies from My Sweet Life
Lemon Blueberry Poundcake from TasteFood
Lemon Almond Polenta Cake from A Food Centric Life

16 responses to “Lemon Bars

  1. Oh, I love lemon bars! I made them a little over a year ago, and never again, not sure why

    good that you brought them to my radar, our grad students sure would appreciate a batch

    (very beautiful plates in your photo!)

  2. They look irresistible! Lemon bars are a wonderful classic. I never get tired of making/eating them.

    cheers,

    Rosa

  3. I could go for one of these right now. I love Ina’s recipe, too. And the addition of salt? Mmm! I always love a little salt with my sweet.

  4. You always have that special touch – here, the sea salt – perfection!

  5. These look amazing. Perfect summer time treat!

  6. I’ve just got to make this one.. your photo makes them look so irresistable!

  7. MAKING THESE SOON! Love them, Lynda, and your photo is just perfect!! I love the sea salt on them.

  8. They look beautiful! I wonder if a mandarin square would be as nice, I’m addicted to their flavour.

  9. These are my favorite dessert. I’m going to try the pinch of sea salt next time. :)

  10. I love a simple lemon bar, but strangely I’ve never made them before! Your recipe looks delicious, Lynda!

  11. I use so many lemons in my cooking. Your lemon bars sound terrific…I don’t like overly sweet desserts and your recipe sounds perfect.

  12. I love citrus desserts! Your photo is terrific and these lovely lemon treats look mouthwateringly good.

  13. Perfection at it’s best! OMG they look so good!

  14. Yum! I love the idea of topping these bars with salt.

  15. Oohhh…how pretty. The more lemony the better in my book.

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