Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars!
I think lemons are the best-smelling fruits in the world! But then again, I haven't smelled all the fruits that ever existed, so I may be mistaken. I've always wanted to make lemon bars. Ever since I started using lemons in baking, I've loved it. Truly. The flavour. The smell. Heavenly.

Source: Joy of Baking (visit the link for metric measurements & a how-to video)

The Whats
Shortbread Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter - I used margarine & omitted the salt
1/4 cup icing/powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Lemon Filling
1 cup fine granulated white sugar
1 large eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons) - I only had 2 lemons & got about 1/4 cup juice
1 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Some icing/powdered sugar for dusting the top

The How-tos
Shortbread Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
2. Butter and line bottom of 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper. Make sure you butter the sides really well, and if you're up too it, line the sides with parchment paper as well. I'd advice you to do it (which implies that I didn't do it).
3. Beat the margarine and sugar using a handheld mixer until smooth and creamy.
4. Add the flour and salt and mix just until dough comes together.
5. Press the dough onto the bottom of your pan. This might prove a bit tricky. The best way would be to use the base of your palms as the dough won't stick too much to it. Use your pointer and middle fingers to gently press the dough into the corners.
6. Bake dough for about 20 minutes (mine took only 15 minutes) or until the edges are just lightly browned. Don't overbake as it's going to go into the oven again later.
7. Cool the crust while making your lemon filling.

Lemon Filling
1. Beat sugar and eggs using a handheld electric mixer until smooth.
2. Stir in lemon zest and juice.
3. Fold in flour, making sure you beat out any lumps. I like to use a spatula and chase any lumps to  the side of the bowl, pressing them against it.
4. Pour mixture on top of the crust. (My crust had sort of loosened from the sides of the pan a bit, and I was worried the filling would sink to the bottom of the pan, but thankfully they didn't. Much.)
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes or less or until the filling's set.
6. Dust top with icing sugar. Cut into bars and serrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrveeeee!!!

   I forgot about all about the bars after I'd put them into the oven  (I was busy browsing for more recipes). When I did remember, the timer was about to go off and the lemon bars were super brown. Uh-huk. I immediately rescued them without checking if the filling had set.

The crust. I overbaked it.
Just out of the oven. I overbaked the whole thing.  Darn.

   Fortunately icing sugar saved the day! What's important though, is that the flavour was not compromised. I am definitely making these again! Mum  thought they're too sweet, but I think they're fine, so I think they should be fine with you sweet-toothed lot.

   Oh yeah.. The filling stuck a bit to the sides of the pan, but I used a metal spatula to loosen them. They might turn out a bit wonky, and the filling isn't super solid, but I like them that way:

Click here to read about 10 interesting things about lemons


  1. I need to take a break from cooking with chocolate and maybe try lemons. My husband loves lemony things, so I know he's be delighted with these zingy bites.

    Now off to check out the intersting facts about Lemons.

  2. Hello Shaheen! Yes I noticed you love baking with chocolate, but that's not a problem! This recipe is pretty good, though after some consideration, I think I'll cut down on the sugar next time. It was a little too sweet. I hope you'll both like them if you make them!


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