Lemony Lemon Bars

19 Mar

Spring officially debuts on March 20, like right now.  If you’re living it up in a warm climate, you’re feelin’ the spring.  If you live where the snow is still knee-deep, well… we can surely pretend, right?  It stretches the imagination when I walk into a Target store and see the beach shorts and flip flops front and center.  Because just beyond the doors is a snow storm.  I’m all for letting the imagination fly.

Luscious Lemon Bars

Even though winter is citrus time in much of the country, fresh lemons seem to scream spring.  The pretty bright yellow just makes you happy.  These super lemony lemon bars are like spring’s mascot.  If it doesn’t feel springy, at least it will taste like it!

Luscious Lemon Bars 3

Both Hubby’s parents and my parents live in sunny So. Cal., and they are blessed with all sorts of lush fruit trees thriving in their backyard.  Whenever I get my hands on a bunch of fresh lemons, I think of my father in law’s lemon tree on steroids.  It produces lemons that resemble little grapefruits.  Wish I had a picture of those for you.

Luscious Lemon Bars 2

These lemon bars are ultra lemony.  Superbly lemonish.  The juice of three big lemons plus lotsa zest creates an amazingly tangy + sweet filling that is a burst of happiness in your mouth.  The smooth lemon filling rests atop a tender yet crisp butter crust that is a taste of perfection.  My family adores lemon bars.  My kids beg me not to give them all away when I make them.  Hubby used to buy them from a gourmet pastry shop for me when we were dating.  These are by far the most perfect lemon bars we’ve inhaled, and we think you’ll love ’em too.

Enjoy a little flavor of spring, wherever you happen to be!


RECIPE (one 9×13 pan)


For the Crust:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
12 TB regular butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces

For the Filling:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup white sugar
3 TB all purpose flour
Juice of 3 large lemons (2/3 cup)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 tsp table salt


For the Crust:  Preheat oven to 350F with oven rack at middle position.  Press a long piece of foil into 13×9 baking dish, so that the ends hang over the dish (helps with removal of bars.)  Grease the foil and set aside.

Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until fully combined, about 15 seconds.  Add butter and process to blend, about 10 seconds.  Then pulse until the mixture looks pale yellow, resembling a coarse meal.  (If you’re doing it by hand, mix the dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Freeze butter and grate it on large holes of a grater, into the bowl and toss pieces to coat with flour mixture.  Rub the bits with fingers until flour turns pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.)  Sprinkle crust mixture into prepared pan and firmly press into an even layer over bottom of pan.  Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes.  Then bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For the Filling:  Whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in large bowl.  Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and salt to incorporate.  Reduce oven temp to 325F.  Stir filling mixture well, and pour into warm crust.  Bake until filling feels firm upon a very light touch, 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool completely to room temp.  Tightly cover and  chill in fridge before serving.  Once chilled, remove entire dessert with foil sling, and cut into squares.

Dust with powdered sugar upon serving, if desired.  Bars will keep well in fridge, covered.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

10 Responses to “Lemony Lemon Bars”

  1. delishthoughts March 20, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    Looks yummy! 🙂

    • lauralayne March 20, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      These look fabulous! Such a good recipe for spring!

  2. Erin's DC Kitchen March 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    What a perfect recipe for spring, yum. Your photos are amazing too!

  3. gottagetbaked March 22, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Oooooh, I love lemon bars! These are gorgeous – and I’m drooling over that thick buttery crust!

  4. tastytreats13 March 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I love lemon for desserts! These lemon bars look fantastic!

  5. Deliciously Simple Catering May 6, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    These are the best lemon bars ever. The consistency of the cookie is perfect, the lemon curd is sweet but not too sweet. I served them at a lunch I catered and they were gone in 5 mins. My family is begging me to make a batch just for us! I’ve tried many lemon bar recipes and this is now my go to one! I did heat the filling in a sauce pan on low heat first and strained it as I poured it over the base (I like the lemony flavor without the little pieces of rind) and this finished them a little faster since the filling was hot. Silky smooth texture, absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for your website, it is a great source of ideas, recipes, and awesome food photos.

    • chewoutloud May 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      DSC, so glad you and your catering guests liked it so much. Thanks for stopping over 🙂


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