Lemon Bars (take 6)

September 9, 2011

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 just about every all the lemon bars I've made, but apparently I have a knack for finding the lemon love.

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) Print

Crust Ingredients
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

Filling Ingredients
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


  1. These look divine! But tell me, which lemon bar recipe is your favorite?

  2. I dislike lemon flavored candies, but love lemon in baked goods, desserts and savory dishes...

    Those bars look amazing and ever so luscious.



  3. Beth, that's a tough question.

    As of now, I think it's a tie between this recipe and the lemon bars from David Lebovitz. David's recipe uses the entire lemon, which just blows my mind! But I love the simplicity of this particular recipe (and the fact that it has lemon zest in the crust!). They're both equally exquisite. :D

  4. I love lemon bars and these look absolutely divine!

  5. These look absolutely scrumptious! How do I get them through the screen?? Good thing I planted lemon trees this year.

  6. Belinda, I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to have my very own lemon trees. :-)

  7. Ive made Pioneer Womans creamy lemon crumb bars and absolutely adored them, but i have never made the classic lemon bars before and im not kidding when I say I KNOW they would be so well received in this house. I trust your recipes entirely and if you say these are the best then this is the recipe for me :)

    Oh and just as an aside Valerie, we live in the pretty temperamental climate of the UK but had a small lemon tree just in a pot in the conservatory that churned out lemons all year round, honestly they are pretty easy to keep (or maybe ours was just freakishly tolerant!) so definitely give it a shot :)

  8. Hi Sasha,
    Thanks for the information! I honesty don't know the first thing about lemon trees (which is sad considering how much I love lemons).
    I'll have to give it a try (even though I can't seem to keep a spider plant alive for more than a month.) :D

  9. What does it mean to be a 'walking Lemonhead'? What's a Lemonhead?

  10. Hi Bill,
    Lemonheads are hard, little, lemon-flavoured candies. Or, in my case, a lemonhead is anyone who is obsessed with the fruit itself. :-D

  11. Gorgeous bars! And such beautiful pictures. I haven't had a lemon bar in years, and now I want to make them. I will have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    You know, I think I have tried most every kind of candy at some point, but I don't believe I have ever had Lemonheads! :)

  12. I'm confessing here: I never met a lemon recipe I didn't love. My sister feels the same way.
    Of course, I'm in heaven just looking at your bars, Valerie!

  13. Hi Valerie, Your Lemon Bars recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/206?source=facebook Congrats again!! :)

    PS: I dislike clowns too. :)

  14. That's awesome! Thanks Christine! :D

  15. I was inspired by your Lemon Brownie recipe to make a gluten and dairy free version. It went down a treat in my household, so I'm eager to give this recipe a go as well (gluten and dairy free of course)!


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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