One of my all-time favorite desserts has always been lemon bars. Gooey and tart, buttery and sweet, what more could you want? I've decided that I'm going on a mission to find the best lemon bar recipe. Come with me, won't you? This is number one of, well, I don't know how many, but I bet it'll be fun to find out!
I found this recipe in a Nordstrom Friends and Family cookbook that I've had for years. And, for years, have been wanting to try it. Don't ask why it's taken me so long. Based on the outcome, that was a silly move.
Renee's Lemon Bars
makes about 18 bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing baking pan
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
more powdered sugar for dusting
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-low speed, cream together the 1 cup butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once. Add the flour and mix until well blended. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
Bake the crust until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
To make the filling, in a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the eggs until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until thick. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and baking powder and beat until well blended and pale yellow. Pour the filling over the baked crust, and use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.
Bake until the filling is set - firm on the edges, but still a little soft in the middle - 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly. Using a fine-mesh sieve or a sifter, dust the top with powdered sugar while still warm. Cut into bars about 3 by 2 inches and serve warm. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
These were very easy to make and I think they were a perfect choice to start the lemon bar mission. I baked them for 15 minutes and would probably leave them in for another minute or two if/when I make them again. The edges were set up perfectly but, although they were only a little soft in the middle, they were somewhat runny when I cut them.
I didn't try them warm, as I took them to work the following day, but they were delicious at room temperature and even better chilled. They kept well for a couple of days in the refrigerator, even uncovered.