Lemon Bars

We’ve never been able to make a really good lemon bar. Maybe that’s not exactly right – we’ve never made a lemon bar that we’ve thought was perfect. Either the lemon mixture wouldn’t gel, or they were impossible to remove from the pan, or there was almost no lemon flavor, and so on. And we were following the directions to the tee, so we couldn’t understand what was wrong.

So I stopped following the directions and started tweaking.

I got this recipe from epicurious, but I’ll post what I did below.

Shortbread Crust Ingredients
3/4 c (164 g) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces
2 c (276 g) flour
1/2 c (105 g) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Put all ingredients in a food processor and run on medium until mixture begins to form small, pea-sized lumps. Pour mixture into 9×13 baking dish and press evenly onto bottom (a metal spatula is good for this – don’t use your hands! It’ll melt the butter and throw off the texture of the shortbread). Bake shortbread on middle rack for 20 minutes and prepare the lemon mixture.

Lemon Curd Topping
4 large eggs
1 c (210 g) sugar
3/4 c (177 ml) lemon juice
1 T lemon zest (2 large lemons)
1/3 c (104 g) flour

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add lemon juice, zest and flour and stir until just combined. Pour over hot shortbread base and carefully return pan to oven, turning temperature down to 300°F (149°C). Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Allow to cool completely (preferably overnight), then dust lightly with powdered sugar.

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