Lemon Bars

I have made several attempts at homemade lemon recipes.  With these attempts, came many unblogged failures of lackluster lemon bars with bland and goopey fillings.  So believe me when I say I know what bad lemon filling tastes like.  But now after making this recipe, I know what good, homemade lemon filling tastes like- success at last! Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to know how to make a good lemon bar  A buttery, crumbly crust and a smooth, luscious, lemon filling is a lethal combination to diets across America.

The best parts of the bars were there corners and edges.  The combination of the crisp, buttery crust with the lemon filling is to die for.  I may or may not have cut around the edges and eaten those pieces.  And then seriously contemplated buying the edge-only baking pans.

LEMON BARS
Slightly Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
INGREDIENTS
For the Crust:

8 3/4 ounces all purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cup)
2 3/4 ounces powdered sugar (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

For the Filling:
9 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (about 1 1/3 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar, for topping

DIRECTIONS

For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil.  Grease the foil.

In a food processor, combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Chill slices of butter.  Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Pour mixture into baking pan.  Press into an even layer, reaching about 1/2 inch up the sides.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Bake until golden brown, 20-23 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl.  Using your hand rub the zest into the sugar.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes.  Add flour and eggs.  Whisk together.  Add lemon juice, milk, and salt.

Lower oven temperature to 325°F.  Pour mixed lemon filling into warm crust.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, until filling jiggles slightly and feels firm to the touch.  Cool on a wire wrack.  Cut into squares and dust additional powdered sugar on top, if desired

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