Despite the fact that I am a walking example, I never liked Lemonheads.
I felt the need to mention that...just in case my shameless lemon addiction led to visions of lemon candy-stuffed cupboards, drawers, and pockets. Except for jolly-ranchers (hello, sour apple), I'm not a fan of hard candy, especially when it tries in vain to replicate a beloved fruit. Lemon cravings are best soothed by something quiet, silky, and natural.
It's not that I haven't found the perfect recipe for lemon bars, I just can't resist the urge to try anything that appeals to my obsession for anything citrus. This recipe is one of the best. I know I say that for
You don't even need to ask, but just in case, the answer is yes, yes they are lusciously tart. Would I ever offer a lemon recipe that was anything less? :-)
Lemon Bars (recipe adapted from Baking Bites)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons) *save the lemons for the filling*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) of unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
4 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained (from about 4-5 lemons)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 9×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allow a slight overhang around the edges for easy removal.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant.
Add the flour and salt. Whisk all the ingredients together until well blended.
Toss in the cold pieces of butter and using a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is evenly moistened (you're aiming for a coarse, sandy mixture).
Press the the crumbly mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to turn light golden brown.
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Whisk until well combined and slightly thickened.
Pour the mixture over the hot, partially-baked crust.
Return to the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes. The filling should be just set in the center.
Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Allow the pan to sit for 40 minutes before gently lifting the bars using the foil overhang.
Slice and chill until ready to serve.
Makes 18-20 bars