I cannot begin to explain how much I love citrus. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit… In general, the smell of citrus lifts my mood and just smells wonderful to me. The taste – well I love the freshness and the crispness it brings to any recipe. That being said, we’re having mini bake sales at work for charity and I thought of lemon bars / squares. I needed a quick, easy, and yet delicious recipe that I could whip together at night and easily cart to work the next day.
Let it be known that I am clumsy and tend to walk into walls and drop things – so I have a Lemon Bar recipe today: done 2 ways. The first method is for a firmer lemon layer while the other is for more of a creamy, lemon curd layer. Both are delicious and easy to make, just slightly different from each other.
I brought about 10 squares to work (save 2 at home for myself) and these went within the first hour or so of being put out. They are easy to do, require little prep time and are just delicious! Enjoy.
Lemon Bars (2 ways)
For the crust
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (leave it out over night if you can to soften)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour (not packed)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
* If you use salted butter, omit the kosher salt
For the firmer lemon layer
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (or more if you prefer it sweeter)
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 small lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour (this amount of flour gives the firmness)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper. The parchment paper should go up over the edges so that the bars are easily lifted afterwards.
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. Flour your hands well and gather into the dough into a ball at the bottom of the mixing bowl. Transfer the ball to the baking sheet and flatten with floured hands. Press it into the greased/lined baking pan, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the firmer lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour lemon mixture over the crust and bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
For the lemon curd layer, whisk together all ingredients, except the butter, in a sauce pan over medium-to-low heat. Slowly add in the cold, cubbed up butter while continuing to whisk with the hand held mixer. Cook and whisk until mixture thickens and holds whisk marks (~10 minutes). Remove from heat and a cool in fridge. Spread the cooled lemon curd over the crust and bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until just set (personally, I under-cook this to leave the curd creamy and smooth).
Once cooled, remove from pan and dust with confection sugar and cut into squares/rectangles.
Please let me know if you decide to re-create this recipe and which filling you prefer. I’d love to see pictures posted here or on social media with the hashtag #cocomechanelrecipe or #cocomechanel.
Until next time,