Spring is finally here! The longer days and brighter sun have done wonders to chase our winter blues away. Here’s a recipe for lemon bars to welcome and celebrate spring. These luscious bars have a crisp and buttery shortbread crust topped with a sweet and tangy lemon curd. Their lovely yellow color evokes the light and warmth of springtime sun.
Serve these refreshing lemon bars at springtime luncheons, bridal showers, or afternoon teas. Happy Spring!
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest*
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 to 6 drops yellow food coloring, optional
- confectioner’s sugar
Before you begin: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You will need an 8-inch square pan—ungreased.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar for about 1 minute until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated—do not overbeat. Place the dough into the square pan and press it by hand to cover the bottom of the pan and to go up the sides by ½ inch. Bake the crust for about 10 to12 minutes. Allow the crust to cool for a few minutes—it should still be warm when you pour the filling over it.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
While the crust is baking, make the filling. Beat the eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder, salt and yellow food coloring for 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened and become lighter in color.
Pour the filling over the warm crust, place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut into bars or squares.
Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Makes 16 to 20 bars.
* Make sure to use only the yellow part of the lemon peel, as the white part—the pith—is bitter.
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