Zesty Lemon Bars

Nothing finishes off a meal of ribs, pulled pork or even a grilled chicken Caesar salad like a lemon bar. I created this recipe for all those fellow lemonheads out there. It is a lot more tart than most lemon bars and is just the thing for summertime entertaining!

Makes about 24 bars

Shortbread Crust:

2          sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold

2          cups all-purpose flour

¼         cup granulated sugar

¼         cup packed light brown sugar

½        teaspoon sea salt

            Zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  

Make the crust:

Cut butter into ½ -inch pieces.  In a food processor or using a hand-held pastry cutter, process all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps.  

Sprinkle into a rectangular 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan and using your fingers or a metal spatula, press firmly and evenly onto bottom and ½-inch up the side of the pan to form a ½-inch layer of shortbread.  

Prick all over with a fork.  Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

While shortbread is baking, prepare lemon filling.

4          extra-large eggs

1 ½     cups granulated sugar

¾         cup fresh lemon juice about 3 large lemons

            Zest of one lemon

⅓        cup all-purpose flour

            Shortbread crust (see below)

            Confectioners Sugar

Make shortbread crust using the recipe above.  

Make the Filling:

While it is baking, make filling in a large metal bowl.  Whisk eggs and granulated sugar together until well combined and is a light yellow color.  Stir in lemon juice, zest and flour.  Set aside until crust is finished baking and has cooled for 10 minutes. Pour lemon mixture over hot shortbread.  

Reduce oven temperature to 300º Fand bake in middle of the oven until set. About 30 minutes.  

Cool completely in pan and cut into bars.  Sift confectioners’ sugar over bars before serving.

DessertKirsten Teissier