Friday, March 16, 2012

when life gives you lemons

when life gives you lemons - or, when friends with an overabundance of lemons give you lemons...

you make lemon bars.
or you should, because a good lemon bar is a thing to behold.
am i right?

for a couple of years i've been making the delicious and delightful lemon bar recipe from tartine bakery in san francisco. 

it's good. it's really good.
but on monday, faced with a massive quantity of lemons and some friends coming for dinner, 
i decided to branch out and try a different recipe.

i love smitten kitchen- and for the most part the recipes i've tried from that site are phenomenal.

enter... a new recipe.
enter... the best lemon bars ever.

ok, maybe that is a tad dramatic, but they were really, really, yummy. 
crunchy slightly sweet base with a sweet tart gooey lemonyness
 with a slightly firm skin of lemon on top & then a smattering of powdered sugar. 
you guys, i was impressed with myself. 
and i bragged about how good they were 
because i was kind of blown away at how well they turned out.
no lie.

so do you have lemons?
make yourself some lemon bars!
(ahem, specifically these lemon bars.)
here's the recipe!
Lemon Bars
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
(a note from from deb at smitten kitchen: These are bold and tart lemon bars, ones I feel are best in smaller doses than Ina Garten suggests. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe–increased the salt in the crust, reduced the sugar in the lemon filling and an encouragement to grease your pan, as mine were all but cemented into their non-stick pan.)
For the crust: 
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the full-size lemon layer: 
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
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 the greased 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 lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


  1. if you ever need lemons i have an over abundant tree!!
    thanks for a great monday walk...a highlight of my week.

    1. yes! i LOVED our walk- it was so so great. let's do it again soon. and by soon i mean real time soon, not in a year soon.

  2. If ONLY I had some lemons.

  3. Since I was lucky enough to taste test some Lemon Bar left overs, I can whole-heartily agree that they were AWESOME!!! So, so good! Thanks for sharing!

    1. but of course! hope you saved them all for yourself and didn't share with the littles!


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