I love lemons. I could suck on lemon wedges dipped in salt any day. I have no problem pairing it with Tequila if we’re out of limes. I could squeeze it on soy sauce to make a dip or over Lo Mein. I use lemons to marinate meat and fish or make lemon infused sauces on pasta dishes. HOWEVER, I don’t like lemon/lime flavored desserts. Nor does the husband and our daughter. Our son though, he likes EVERYTHING sour desserts and treats. He would come home with every sour kind of anything he could find or suddenly sees in stores. Ice cream, popsicles, cookies, candies, yogurt, cereal, chips(this I’m OK with), obscure lemon/lime flavored crap you’ve never even thought possible, you name it and he’s bought them. I consider myself a pretty adventurous Foodie and I will eat anything. For the ones that appear to not make sense at all, I will still taste once or twice. That’s about the extent of how I could tolerate lemon/lime desserts.
Because 3 members of the family don’t like lemon/lime flavored desserts, I’ve never made Lemon Bars. I tasted a few from our Church’s BBQ charity back in 2019 and they were actually good. I didn’t mind them but I didn’t go running towards my kitchen immediately to make any. Not until this weekend because it was my son’s birthday. I’ve figured since it’s his day I’d humor him and FINALLY make lemon bars.
I will give myself a pat in the back because these lemon bars were actually awesome!! For someone who has never made any and is not particularly fond of lemon bars, I think I did good. Son and Daughter approved. The husband refused to have any, 😂. Would I make them again soon? Probably not. Maybe on his next birthday or when he gives me a grandchild ☺️😂😅.
BTW, before you squeeze the lemons for the juice, make sure to zest them first. You’ll need about 2 tbsp of zest(4-6 lemons) for this recipe. You can’t make lemon bars without adding lemon zest. Unless of course you prefer not to add ’em but you really should!
- 2 sticks butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- parchment paper
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 6 lemons
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- confectionery sugar
MAKE THE CRUST
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a rectangle pan with parchment paper. Cut small diagonal slits on 4 corners to make it easier to lift later on.
- Stir butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and flour together.
- Mix with a hand-held mixer until well-combined.
- Place in the parchment lined pan. Carefully press the crust to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake it in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Once baked, poke around with the fork. Set aside.
MAKE THE FILLING.
- While the crust is baking, zest the lemons. 4-6 lemons to get 2 tablespoon of zest.
- Juice the 6 lemons. This should give you about 1 cup of lemon juice. Make sure to discard the seeds.
- Whisk together sugar, flour, and eggs.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Then the lemon zest. Mix together until well-combined.
- Pour the mixture in the warm crust.
- Gently tap the pan to keep it even and smooth. Bake it in the oven, 350°, for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Let it cool in room temperature for an hour or so. Then chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Carefully lift the parchment paper onto a cutting/serving board.
- Sprinkle confectionery sugar before cutting into bars.
If you decide to chill this overnight make sure to take it out of the fridge and let it sit for an hour or two before serving to soften the shortbread style crust. If you serve it right away the crust would be tough. So give the lemon bars the time to rest in room temperature.