Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lemon Bars

The last time we went to CostCo's they didn't have any limes. We always buy a huge bag as we like to squeeze the juice of one lime into a glass of Peligrino, our favorite 'if you don't feel like plain old water have one of these drinks' drink. Instead of the limes Gregg found a huge bag of lemons. They looked lovely and so they went into the basket. Only problem is we have since bought our limes, those lemons were still in the fridge and they needed to be taken care of. As I usually do I go surfing the food blogs. This one I found on Tastespotting, or it could have been Photograzing, not really sure which now but as I had all the ingredients ready and waiting, when I saw the recipe for Lemon Bars I knew this was the recipe for us.

You will find the recipe here over at Taro On My Mind and she got it from Inez Garten - a lot of people will recognize her as The Barefoot Contessa. Occasionally I will watch one of her shows on the Food Network channel and thoroughly enjoy it. She's my favorite TV chef these days.

The full recipe is below but here is a condensed version: after you have turned your oven on to preheat you start off with creaming the butter and sugar in a large bowl and then add the flour and salt mixing well.

Mine came out pretty crumbly but as you press it into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan, I didn't worry about that much. You bake this for about 15 to 20 minutes.

You add the lemon zest to eggs, sugar, lemon juice and flour.

When this is all mixed up you pour it all over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Mine looked really runny but my lemons were huge and so by the time I squeezed them the juice may have come to more than the one cup called for.

But it turned out okay, that's the main thing and it was delicious.

Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Bars

(Adapted from her recipe in Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons, I ended up using 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Conclusions: if you like that lemony taste which we do, this is a wonderful treat for dessert. You don't need more than a small piece as it is very rich. Definitely a keeper and I have put it in the 'favorite' section of my recipe folder. You might have your own favorite Lemon Bar recipe but as I haven't made one like this for 20 years, I was happy to find this one.

Because it's just the two of us I made a regular batch. After we had tried a piece I put the dish into the refrigerator, and when it was completely cold I cut it up into individual portions. These portions went into a freezer bag and then the freezer, to take one out to thaw whenever we felt like a piece. They still taste great after being frozen.


  1. Those look wonderful and we love lemon bars. Will have to give them a go.

  2. I love lemons and the lemon bars look delicious.
    Great photos are a help!

  3. You make my day Denise! I used to have a recipe that used 6 lemons for lemon bars, but I lost it, and have searched left and right for another recipe that uses more than 2 lemons. I tried it out, but there's no comparison!! So, thanks from the heart:)

  4. Looks absolutely delicious Denise.

  5. Thanks a million, my lemon tree has fruit ready to ripen. I'm always looking out for lemon recipes. This one goes in my file. great pis too.

  6. Oh, Denise, these look so tasty! You did a wonderful job showing the step-by-step process. The ingredients are going onto my shopping list immediately so I can give them a try. Thanks so much for sharing. ~karen

  7. oh Denise, another delicious post!
    I just need to try it!
    Thanks for the hints!

  8. WOW! Looks delicious, Denise! I love lemon bars.

  9. These look very tasty. I love the taste and aroma of lemons!

  10. I do have to be careful with lemons as I sometimes get an allergic reaction to citrus but this looks a delicious recipe and a little won't hurt me! Thanks for this Denise. A x

  11. Makes my mouth water just looking at the finished square.

  12. I love lemon bars. Those look yummy. The Barefoot Contessa is my favorite cook on TV. Everything is simple and easy.

  13. We love lemon bar season! I usually try to wait until Easter and then watch out lemon bars galore and lemon pie and lemon curd and lem....

  14. Hi Denise, I have never made these bars---but have eaten them and I love them.... Think --after seeing yours--that I'll make some sometime soon. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Denise, great post. I do love lemon bars. I found my recipe in an old Shaker cookbook from Kentucky. I've got to make these again. I love limes too and so does Jack. The thing about Cosco is that you never know what will be there and what will be missing on this trip.

  16. My neighbor has a huge lemon tree with fruit for the taking and they won't last too much longer so this goes on my to-do list!

  17. Denise, your lemon bars look delicious. You are a very good baker or would that be a bakeress? I have always lots of lemons such a yummy recipe is welcome.

  18. I have made these with a similar recipe,they are delicious and a big favorite with every one who visits.
    They must taste even better if you have lemons growing in your garden,I have to rely on the supermarket,so lord knows how old they are by the time use them.

  19. My MIL grows lemons in her backyard - definitely going to forward this recipe to her!

    Thank you!

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