Tart and Silky Smooth, This Lemon Bar Recipe is for Lemon Lovers.
These Lemon Bars have a buttery, tender, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust that’s covered with an oh-so-silky rich lemon filling and bursting with tart lemon flavor.
Lemon Bars are always a welcome treat in this house because my family LOVES lemon anything. Lemon Meringue Pie and Lemon Blueberry Muffins are amongst my 19 year old daughter’s most favorite things in the universe. And, my 15 year old daughter loves lemons so much that she eats them straight – like an orange. I blame their father.
When our first born was a baby, my husband decided to put a drop of lemon juice on his finger and place it in our son’s mouth just to see his reaction. (Oh, come on. We were young and poor, and in desperate need of cheap entertainment.)
My husband was all geared up to laugh at a scrunched up baby face. Instead, our infant son, opened his big eyes wide and licked at his lips like it was the best thing he’d ever tasted. And just like that, the evening’s entertainment crashed and burned.
My husband tried this trick with both of our girls as well only to receive the same reaction. It was our first lesson in the fact that as parents, you have shockingly little control over your kids. They are born with their own little personalities, their likes and dislikes largely hardwired in there, and you can’t really do a damn thing about it.
So, My Family is Really into These Lemon Bars
I am really into these lemon bars too. They are exactly what I want a lemon bar to be. The filling is impossibly smooth and the shortbread crust literally melts on your tongue.
In order to get an ultra tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture, I’ve used powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar and replaced some of the all-purpose flour with cornstarch. The filling gets its tart lemon flavor from lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract.
To achieve a silky smooth rich texture, I’ve added a couple of extra egg yolks and whole milk. The result is a creamy custardy filling, just firm enough to hold it’s shape.
One note before you get your lemon bar bake on: It’s important to add the lemon filling to a warm crust, so be sure to prepare the filling while the crust is baking. Pour the prepared filling into the warm crust right after you pull it from the oven. Then, continue with the recipe.
Other recipes you might Like:
- Lavender Infused Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lemon Blueberry Muffins
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
- Cherry Turnovers with Cream Cheese and Almonds
For more yummy recipes, follow me on Pinterest.
- 1¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ⅔ powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 tbsp butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- Additional powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish: Make a foil sling by laying 2 long sheets of aluminum foil perpendicular to each other over the baking dish. The foil should be long enough to cover the pan and fold over the sides of the pan a few inches. Press the foil into the pan to cover the inside completely. Spray the foil with non-stick baking spray or brush with melted butter. Fold the overhanging foil over the sides of the pan. The overhang will help you lift the lemon bars from the pan after baking.
- Add the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and lemon zest, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and press into an even layer that covers the bottom of the pan and comes ½-inch up the sides. Cover and refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until a light golden brown.
- Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and flour in a medium sized bowl until well combined. Add the remaining filling ingredients and whisk to blend well.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and pour the filling into a freshly baked, warm crust. Bake until the lemon filing feels set when touched, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan.
- When the bars are cool, lift them from the pan using the foil sling and cut into bars with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar and serve. The bars will keep at room temperature for up to 1 day or refrigerated for up to 3 days.