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Dec 23, 2008 11:01 AM

How to make Super Sour Lemon Bars?

Am wanting to make super-sour lemon bars for a friend who loves lemon.

Was thinking of taking Ina Garten's Lemon Bar recipe and
1/ Reducing the sugar from 3 cups to 2 cups
2/ Adding lemon zest to the crust

Will either of these choices affect the texture i.e. will reducing the sugar make the filling not set?

Would it help to increase the amount of lemon juice also?

Any other ideas or better recipes?

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  1. Removing 1/3 of the sugar from the lemon curd is a bit extreme and it might not set. I would remove 1/2 of a cup and add 1 TBL of finely chopped or grated lemon zest to the curd. You can also add some to the cookie crust, but it must be finely chopped so it doesn't affect the mouth feel. Id use a microplane grate for this application, and Id run a knife across it for kicks and giggles.

    I like the lemon bar recipe from Fine Cooking,

    1. How about picking up a bag of those incredibly sour lemon ball candies, grinding them up in the food processor (into sugar like granuals) and mixing those into the filling in place of an equal amount of some of the sugar.

      1. As Kelli said, changing proportions can affect the texture. Lemon zest will make it lemony, yes, but not necessarily sour. I'd add some citric acid crystals, sold as "sour salt" in the spice or kosher section of supermarkets. That stuff is REALLY sour! Add a little at a time, stirring until it dissolves, and taste as you go. You won't need much -- maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Channa

          oh i have sour salt. what do you think about adding some to the crust?

          1. re: orangewasabi

            I'd worry about mixing it evenly into the flour mixture -- especially if you're adding a little at a time.

        2. MANY THANKS for all your help. The bars turned out terrifically sour and were a huge hit.

          I reduced the sugar by 1/2 cup, added sour salt to both the crust & the filling, doubled the zest and added a touch of organic lemon essence.