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Need a tried and true LEMON BAR *small batch* recipe

I've used the search function but most of the lemon bar threads mention a recipe and then ask if anyone has tried it... and there aren't any responses by people who have actually tried it.

I'm look for a tried and true recipe for lemon bars that are not gummy, do not include any other flavors (no lime, no orange,) and do not contain things like oatmeal. The birthday boy is the only one that will be eating them so I only need a small amount, I'm guessing he would eat 3 or 4 over the next few days (there is no room in the freezer, freezing is not an option.) No larger than a 9x9 pan would be good, I'm sure I can find a neighbor or two that will take one but no one wants a big plate of anything so more than that will be wasted. I'd rather not make something that will be wasted, y'know?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Thank you, that looks very promising! An 8x8 pan is even better than a 9x9 and I have one perfect Meyer lemon ready to pick on the little lemon tree in the pot on my porch, it's very first lemon. I will heed his warning about the sugar amount.

      Lemon bars are the man's fave but they must be classic, unadulterated lemon bars and this looks right.

      1. re: weezieduzzit

        lucky you and your first lemon!

        i love lemon anything, so hope you enjoy these.

        imho, anything i have made from his recipes has been wonderful.

      2. http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/cooki...

        These are amazing. I hate lemon desserts but a neighbor made these and I got hooked. Now we make a few batches every year. Good luck.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ncghettogourmet

          Thanks for the link. :) I'll check it out.

        2. My go-to recipe is from my 1970s edition of "Joy of Cooking", and is called "Lemon Curd Squares". I don't have it in front of me here at work, but I'm pretty sure it's this:


          I don't bother with the coconut. And I simply use the juice and zest of a whole lemon, which simplifies the measuring process and gives it a bit more of a lemony punch (remember to zest it before you juice it.) It makes the small batch you're looking for. And wherever I take them, they get gobbled up.

          4 Replies
          1. re: weem

            Yes, I 2nd this. The link is the Joy of Cooking ingredients ( double-checked my cookbook), with paraphrased instructions.

            1. re: MidwesternerTT

              Do they look better than that pic? That pic makes them look very unappetizing.

              1. re: weezieduzzit

                Some lemon squares look like perfect little yellow plastic rectangles, and these don't, at least not when I make them. But they taste great, not gummy in the way the "perfect" ones often do. My suggestions for improving the appearance (at least for making them look better than that photo) are to top with powdered sugar, and to completely chill them before cutting them.

              1. re: susan1353

                I did see that but it makes a huge amount, much more than I'm looking for.

                1. re: susan1353

                  I second Ina's lemon bars - my go-to. It is very easy to half - no need to make huge batch. I also love Fancy Pantry lemon curd but have not used it in this recipe, just follow Ina's instructions.

                  1. re: herby

                    I've never been happy with the results of baking recipes cut in half- it screws up the thicknesses since the pan sizes aren't equal increments. The filling to crust ratio is a delicate balance.

                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                        It works out well if you use 8 x 8 pan; it is almost exactly half of the half-sheet pan which is the normal size for most recipes.

                  2. I love this lemon tart. It is the same amount of work as lemon bars but looks so much more special. I cannot recommend it enough.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DowntownJosie

                      I appreciate the link but a tart isn't what he wants.

                    2. The "Lemon Squares" on the King Aurthur Flour web sight is my go to for Lemon Bars.

                      1. This is the second recipe I ever used, out of the Peanuts Cookbook (after "Red Baron Root Beer" from the same cookbook).

                        Lucy's Lemon Squares
                        Lucy’s Lemon Squares

                        1 cup flour
                        ½ cup butter
                        ¼ cup powdered sugar
                        2 eggs
                        1 cup granulated sugar
                        2½ tbsp. fresh lemon juice
                        ½ tbsp. baking powder
                        dash of salt

                        Sift flour and powdered sugar into bowl. Blend in butter with clean fingertips till well mixed. Pat evenly into the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon juice and salt together. Pour over baked crust and return to oven.

                        Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. Cool on rack. Cut in squares. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.

                        1. Here is my go-to recipe, but it's a 9x13 pan.


                          2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour

                          2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted

                          1 cup (2 sticks) chilled butter, cubed

                          1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl by hand, mix together the flour, powdered sugar and butter until they come together to form a dough.

                          2. Press the dough into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake the crust until golden-brown, about 20 minutes. Remove and cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees to bake the bars.

                          Filling and final assembly

                          8 eggs

                          3 cups sugar

                          1 1/4 cups lemon juice (from 12 to 13 lemons)

                          1/2 cup (2.1 ounces) flour

                          Prepared crust

                          Powdered sugar for dusting

                          1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and flour. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

                          2. Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake at 300 degrees until the custard is set, about 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then dust with a light coating of powdered sugar before serving.

                          1. I've made this Rose Levy Berenbaum recipe several times


                            1. Lemon bars freeze great and they are a treasure missed when the last one goes.

                              1. Epicurious.com's Double Lemon Bars. I make them several times a year and they are always good. Making them for a dinner party this Saturday, in fact.