ISO Tested Lemon Bar Recipe
I bake a lot but for some reason have had repeated failures with various lemon bar recipes. I'm looking for a recipe for traditional lemon squares, the ones with a crust and a lemon curd topping. Whose recipe should I try next?
Try mine! Try mine! Just kidding...My grandmother typed up and sent me this recipe 40 years ago. I have no idea where it came from but it's simple and delicious. Although the directions for the "curd" part say to mix and beat until foamy, I think the key is to let that foam subside while the crust bakes and then to simply stir to recombine before pouring over the crust and baking.
Mix with a pastry blender until crumbly:
1 cup cold butter cut into one inch pieces
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar.
Put into a 9x13 inch greased pan. Do not press the mixture down. (Makes for a crumblier crust.) Bake 20 minutes at 350.
Meanwhile..."Mix and beat (use a whisk) until foamy:
4 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups sugar
Pour on top of baked crust and return to oven for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with more confectioner's sugar and cut while warm. Makes 3 dozen.
The recipe I have is similar (It *ahem* won the office cookie & dessert contest and was always requested at the potlucks).
The ingredients for the crust are exactly the same, however preparation is
"Cut butter into flour/sugar mixture until they cling together. Press lightly into 9x13 glass baking dish. (Note, there is so much butter in the crust that I never found it necessary to grease the pan. I've also made them in an enameled cast iron pan.)
Bake 25 minutes at 350 or until lightly browned."
For the filling
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (of course it must be fresh)
2 tsp lemon peel
1/4 cup flour plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
"Beat the first four ingredients together. Stir in the dry ingredients. Pour over crust and bake 25 minutes more at 350."
Then continue as above with the powdered sugar.
The source of the above recipe was a coworker from North Dakota. I inherited it about 30 years ago. She was so happy to have my home-grown lemons that she gave me the recipe along with a batch of tomatoes (which I never seem to be able to grow well).
Here's one from my mother-in-law that's yummy. Can be made with regular or Meyer lemons.
Connie's Lemon Bars
- Shortbread Base
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1 cup sifted flour
Mix ingredients and pat into 8"X8" pan. Bake for 20 min. at 350F.
- Lemon Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. lemon juice
Beat filling ingredients together. When shortbread base is out of oven, pour filling over. Return to oven and bake for another 20 min. at 350F.
Once cool, sprinkle w/icing sugar (optional).