Lemon bars are a homemade classic — the kind of recipe you’ll keep around to make again and again. A simple shortbread base is pressed into a square pan, baked, and topped with a quick lemon mixture that sets up into a silky, tart lemon curd.
Smarts: This recipe makes 9 large bars, or can be cut into 16 smaller bars.
- Butter - 1/2 cup , softened
- Flour, all-purpose - 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Parchment paper - for baking
- Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- Flour, all-purpose - 3 Tbsp
- Lemon zest - 1 Tbsp
- Eggs - 3
- Lemon juice - 3/4 cup
- Salt - 1/8 tsp
- Sugar, powdered - for dusting
Prep pan - Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with some cooking spray or grease with butter, and line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper (leave an overhang of parchment on the two sides for easy removal from the pan later).
Lemons - Zest and juice lemons.
Heat oven to 350F / 177C.
While oven heats, make crust. Using an electric mixer or sturdy spoon, mix butter, flour, sugar, and salt (portions for crust) until a crumbly dough forms.
Press the dough into prepared pan in an even layer, using the back of a spatula or a flat-bottomed glass to flatten. Using a fork or skewer, poke holes into the crust to prevent air pockets (the holes will close up as it bakes but allow any steam trapped beneath the crust to escape). Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.
While crust bakes, make filling. Using a whisk or electric mixer, combine the sugar and flour (portions for filling) and lemon zest. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully combined. Whisk in lemon juice and salt (portion for filling).
Pour filling into baked and hot crust (it’s crucial that the crust is still warm to prevent seepage). Bake filling for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the center is just set.
Cool on a rack completely. Once cool, place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
Dust the top generously with powdered sugar and cut into bars. Enjoy!