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Close up of lemon bars topped with powdered sugar and garnished with a sprig of mint.
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5 from 4 votes

Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Thank you Kitty for your help in measuring, sifting, zesting, squeezing, mixing, cleaning, and photographing!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust
Servings: 24 bars
Author: Jurga

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter, 2 sticks, cut into ½-inch cubes, room temperature

Lemon Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 4 lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Generously grease a 9-by-13 inch glass baking dish with unsalted butter.

Prepare The Crust:

  • Stir the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add the cubed butter a few pieces at a time using the back of a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  • Press the prepared crust evenly into the buttered pan.
  • Bake crust for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven.

While the crust bakes, prepare the filling:

  • Whisk the sugar, flour and eggs in a large bowl until well blended.
  • Whisk in the lemon juice and grated lemon peel.
  • Pour the filling over the hot crust and bake for about 20-22 minutes, until filling is set in the center.
  • Cool completely in the pan on a rack before placing in the refrigerator.
  • Chill for a minimum of 2 hours to allow bars to completely set (I prefer to let them set over night). They are twice as good the next day!
  • Bring lemon bars to room temperature before cutting into squares. I like to use a pastry scraper instead of a knife to cut through the bars.
  • Sift powdered sugar over the squares before serving. (See Gr8 tip for using non-melting powdered sugar.)

Notes

Gr8 Tips:
  • In order to save time, use a food processor to blend the ingredients for the crust. Pulse until all ingredients come together. It will form more of a dough consistency.
  • If you prefer a crispy crunchy crust, chill the prepared crust by placing the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking.
  • An 8 x 10 pan can be used for a thicker bar. Baking time will vary.
  • Sucre Neige Non-Melting Powdered Sugar can be substituted for powdered sugar. It holds up better as it doesn't absorb and melt into the bars like regular powdered sugar. It keeps the lemon bars from looking naked, leaving a nice white fluffy topping. Available through Amazon.com.
  • Try substituting limes for the lemons. You won't be disappointed!
Gr8 Do-Ahead Tip:
The bars can be made up to 4 days in advance. To keep them fresh, keep them tightly covered in the refrigerator. I guarantee they won't last 4 days!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!