Friday, June 10, 2011

Lemon Bars Lost

A couple of months ago, I made some lemon bars that were exquisite.  They were perfect blend of melt-in-your-mouth sweetness and tart.  My husband and I cleaned off the entire pan together and swore we could never eat another lemon bar again.  Of course, when it comes to decadent desserts, my husband is a weak, weak man……and he asked for me to make them again a few weeks later.
Guess what?  I lost the recipe.  It’s gone.  I’m not sure if I found it on the internet or in my extensive collection of church cookbooks.  I looked and looked.  I found some that seemed like they might be “the one”, but after trying out FOUR different recipes, I had pretty much given up hope.  All was lost.
And then….in a magical moment of Googling, I came across a recipe that was different, yet held some promise.  I quickly ran to the store to buy more lemons and real butter.  This HAD to work.
I greased.  I grated.  I pulsed.  I pressed.  I whisked.  I poured.   And when all was baked and cooled, I had found a lemon bar recipe that might have surpassed the superbness of the first recipe…and Microsoft Word says that the word supurbness doesn’t even exist.  That’s how good they are.  Enjoy!
(PS.  I am still on a quest to find the first missing recipe.  If you have any good ones, let me know!)
Lemon Bars
Adapted from Ina Garten May, 1998


The Crust
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar — plus extra to
decorate finished bars
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter — (1 1/2 sticks) at
very cool room temperature, cut into
1-inch pieces, plus extra for greasing pan

The Filling
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 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

The lemon filling must be added to a warm crust. The 30-minute chilling and 20-minute baking of the crust should allow plenty of time to prepare the filling. Also, the bars must cool completely before cutting.  It will end up more like a lemon bar cobbler, vs. bars if they don’t cool.

1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment or wax paper. Dot paper with butter, then lay second sheet crosswise over it.
2. Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add butter and mix into a coarse meal (like sand), with a mixer. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and press firmly with fingers into even, 1/4-inch layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
3. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
4. Dust with Confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares.


  1. LOVE lemon bars! I'll have to try and make these, once all this PCS business is over!

  2. Looks so yummy! I'll have to try and make them in FL!

  3. Hello from the SITS forum! Those look so delicious, I will have to try this recipe.

  4. those looks delicious!! I can't even imagine what my attempt to make these would look like.... :)

    Hope you are enjoying SITS 31DBBB!! As for me, Im definitely learning a lot.

  5. Just mail them to me please!