We have 3 lemon trees in our yard. Once the trees become abundantly full, I get out my basket and pick the lemons. My family knows what it means when they see me with my little basket picking lemons…I’m making lemon bars – perfect lemon bars. Its one treat that is everybody’s favorite. In fact, my daughter’s friends know me for my lemon bars.
Using organic lemons in my lemon bars is important to me. Why use organic lemons? Because pesticide residue is concentrated in the peel, so it is best to use organic lemons when a recipe calls for the zest of the lemon peel.
Lemons contain many health benefits due to its nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B, phosphorous, proteins, and carbohydrates. Another good reason to make lemon bars!
Being fond of lemon bars, I’ve tasted a variety of them. Many have had that perfect balance of tart and sweet with a delicious crumbly shortbread crust, while others have bombed. Maybe due to a crust that is too gooey or dry, or the lemon custard lacks that pleasant pucker factor. The perfect lemon bar consists of a flaky buttery shortbread, topped with tangy lemon custard, and a sprinkling of powder sugar.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1-teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- ⅛-teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1-cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- ½ cup strained fresh lemon juice
- Organic powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, being sure that it extends up all 4 sides of the pan.
- Begin by making the crust. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cut butter into chunks and melt, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Now add the flour and mix just until combined. Using your fingers, press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is well browned at the edges and lightly browned in the center.
- While the crust is baking, start making your lemon topping. In a medium bowl, add the sugar and flour and stir together. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then sir in the lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
- When the crust has completed cooking, remove from the oven and turn down to 300 degrees F. Pour the filling over the hot crust and quickly return to oven.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is puffed at the edges and no longer jiggles in the center when the pan is tapped. Remove from oven and set pan on a rack to cool completely. Lift the ends of the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares. Sieve powdered sugar over the bars just before serving.