It was one of those cold winter evenings, when you are casually strolling in a cute little town that has deliciously inviting cafes lined up and you can’t help but end up in one of them and ask for a Latte. And suddenly, your eyes wander to the cleverly placed confections and cakes and other goodies and you think, why not! You ask the better half if he would be willing to share a bite of the goodies with you and you go ahead and order it with the Latte.
You dig into the lemony, sugary goodness and despite your promise of sharing, you end up stealing more bites of the thing than the guy and he is smiling amusingly at you. And why not! After all you are the one to declare to the whole world that you don’t have a sweet tooth. But here you are, eating copious amounts of a lemon bar and not even sharing. So you let the guy smile his amusing smile and keep noshing. Yes! It was one of those days – the ones on which you wonder how you had been living on this planet without ever having indulged in a lemon bar.
The day turned into the night, and the lemon bar was justly and completely consumed. But the thought of how it was made consumed me for a few days. A few Internet searches later, I zeroed in on a couple of recipes to try. After a few trials, I still had not found THE one. Oh ! Was it a slippery One!!
Then I tried Ina Garten’s recipe from the Food network. A few adjustments later, I had finally found the magic called lemon bars. The birds were chirping again and the sun was shining. Everything was right with the world.
The Lemony Lemon Bars
For the crust
- 200 gms unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar [ fine sugar]
- 2 cups flour- white
- a pinch of salt
For the filling
- 6 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 3 Tbs lemon zest
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- powder sugar for dusting on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
Make the Crust
- Cream the butter and sugar, until light
- Mix the flour and salt and add to the butter until just mixed and it looks crumbly. Use a stand mixer or a spoon.
- Gather the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, and flatten it all the way to the sides. You should build up the edges to about half an inch on all sides
- Chill the flattened dough along with the baking sheet for about 15 minutes.
- Then bake the crust for 15 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack and do not remove it from the pan. not yet.
Make the Filling -
- Whisk the eggs with sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.
- Pour this mixture over the baked crust and bake for 35 minutes. Check on it at 30 minutes mark and see if the filling looks set.
- Once the filling is set, remove and let it cool completely before cutting.
- Cut into desired shape and dust with powdered sugar.
If you don't have one big pan, cut the recipe in half and bake in an 8 in square pan or a 9 or 10 in round or use two smaller pans and use the whole recipe.