My husband's favorite dessert is the lemon bar. We are such opposites. I believe that it can't really be a dessert unless it has chocolate on it. I tried making chocolate-lemon bars once. Let's just say that he wasn't impressed. Honestly, neither was I. Lemon bars are a simple dessert that shouldn't be messed with. There really is no room for improvement. Unless...you bake them in a removable bottom pan. This is the ONLY way to bake them. Many people think that removable bottom pans are just for cheesecakes. That's what they are designed for, but there are lots of other applications for these versatile pans. Lemon bars bake perfectly in these. I'm sure that you will agree with me that getting the first slice is always difficult. No matter how careful you are the first slice gets smushed. Not when you use a removable bottom pan. Each slice looks perfect.
Classic Lemon Bars
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Rotary cutter (Fat Daddio's WC-4)
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13" baking pan.
- For the crust: Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light. With the mixer on low combine the flour and salt and add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides.
- Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
- For the lemon layer: Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, pop bottom through edge of pan. Cut into small squares using a wheel cutter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
For more inspiration, visit our Cookie board on Pinterest.