Lemon Lust Pastry Bars

“Paulie’s piled-up plate two and a half hours ago hadn’t been enough; he was now eating Lemon Lust pastry bars and Killer Zebras. Any normal human ought to have a gut he’d have to carry around on a wheelbarrow, the way he ate.”
-Sunshine

Tangy, zinging lemon bars are one of my all time favorite bake sale treats. But I’ve long since learned that the ubiquitous yellow square is too often chalky on the bottom, gritty in the middle and wet on top. The whole spectrum of human disappointment could probably be mapped to the quality of a lemon square. But when it’s good? Dear gods of lemon zest, when it’s good…

A firm buttery base, creamy lemon-blessed center, and a pristine snowy top that melts into your mouth…

Well. You’ll see.

Lemon Lust Bars

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Crust Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) white sugar
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling Ingredients

4 eggs
1 1/2 (10.8 oz) cups white sugar
1/4 + 1 T (1.3 oz) cup all-purpose flour
3 lemons, juiced (1/2-2/3 cup)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar until crumbly.

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Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Crust

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Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.

While you’re waiting for the crust to bake, start zesting and juicing your lemons.

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The juice of 3 lemons came out to roughly 3/4 of a cup.

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In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.

Lemon Filling
When the crust is ready take it out and pour the lemon custard over the baked crust.

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For a thicker crust and layer of lemon, you can use a smaller pan and adjust the cook time by 5-10 minutes. I plan on cutting my bars big, and there’s plenty of punch to it, so the thickness worked fine for me.

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Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. After the pans have cooled, cut into uniform squares.

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Wait until the bars are completely cool before sifting powdered sugar on top, if you’re too impatient it will just melt into an unappetizing semi-clear layer on top. But your patience will be rewarded.

Lemon Lust Pastry Bars

Lemon Lust Bars

Crust Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) white sugar
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling Ingredients

4 eggs
1 1/2 (10.8 oz) cups white sugar
1/4 + 1 T (1.3 oz) cup all-purpose flour
3 lemons, juiced (1/2-2/3 cup)
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar until crumbly. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.

While you’re waiting for the crust to bake, start zesting and juicing your lemons.

In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. After the pans have cooled, cut into uniform squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.

Lemon Lust

 

3 thoughts on “Lemon Lust Pastry Bars

    1. Before this recipe I hadn’t really made lemon bars before, so definitely give it a shot. I will say that if you like powdered sugar on top you pretty much have to add it right before serving/eating. Otherwise no matter what temperature it is, it’ll eventually melt the sugar away.

  1. I m a little weird about lemon bars, in that I tend not to love them if they re made mostly of lemon filling with a super thin crust at the bottom. So these have a thicker cookie-like crust and a not-too-thick layer of filling; if you don t already have a favorite lemon bar recipe, give these a try and see how you like em!

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