Friday, May 21, 2010

Lemon Bars

Lemon squares are one of my favourite desserts, and this recipe is so perfect. The simple, buttery shortbread crust allows the bright, fresh flavour of the lemon to really shine through. A light dusting of icing sugar on top adds a hint of sweetness to cut through the tart lemon and gives them a beautiful finish.

Shortbread Crust Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
Pinch salt

Lemon Filling Ingredients:

1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (approx. two large lemons) - You can also use RealLemon lemon juice if you don’t have any fresh lemons on hand. I have tried making these both ways, and I prefer using fresh lemon juice. If you are juicing fresh lemons you can use a fine strainer to remove the pulp and seeds from the juice.
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (the zest from approx. 1 large lemon) - Always remove the zest before juicing the lemon!
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non-stick cooking spray, an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

For Shortbread Crust: With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press onto the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

For Lemon Filling: With a mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Fold in the flour. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling has set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Once cooled, cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.

*Recipe from Joy of Baking

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