When Life Gives You Lemons - Make Lemon Bars!

When life gives you lemons - make lemon bars!

"Luscious lemon bars!"

Luscious lemon bars!

A few years ago when I decided to update my yard I started by planting trees.  Citrus, to be exact.  It seemed like a good idea at the time; rather than flowery ornamentals I would add functional plants or things I could eventually eat (the fruit, not the trees themselves!)

I started off by planting a meyer lemon tree next to a small lime tree.  Since there was space on the other side of the lime it seemed natural to add a Eureka (the more common type found in grocery stores).  Turns out the lime tree was actually a dwarf lemon (they weren’t ripe yet) and the larger tree hidden by the fence…another lemon.

It’s probably a good thing lemons are not only useful around the house but are healthy as well. And as if it’s not obvious my favorite use for lemons is in desserts; whether in the shape of a pie covered with a thick cloud of fluffy meringue or in the guise of lemon bars.  If you don’t have time for pie, try the shortbread lemon bar recipe (below).  This is a super fast, easy recipe your friends and family will love.

  • 1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut butter in ½-inch pieces.  In a food processor process all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps.  Sprinkle mixture into a 13 by 9 by 2 inch baking pan and with a metal spatula press evenly onto bottom.  Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes.  While shortbread is baking, prepare the topping.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Hot shortbread base
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar

In a bowl whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until combined well and stir in lemon juice and flour.  Pour lemon mixture over hot shortbread.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake confection in middle of oven until set, about 30 minutes.  Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars.

Bar cookies keep, covered and chilled, 3 days.  Sift confectioners’ sugar over bars before serving.

Recipes courtesy of Epicurious.