These lemon bars are seriously the best and I don’t say that lightly. They are a copycat recipe of my great aunt’s and have been at every single family function that I can remember. My Aunt will be celebrating her 96th birthday this year, she is my grandmother’s older sister. We didn’t get together often but when we did she’d always bring these. Everyone would be full of anticipation waiting for Auntie June to arrive with her lemon bars. One Christmas my parents put together a family cookbook. Inside are all of my grandmother’s Christmas cookie recipes. There is also other family favorites/inside jokes, her tater tot casserole recipe and of course, her lemon bars. I was so excited to make these and when I did I realized that they weren’t quite the same. So I tweaked the original recipe to make these taste even better. With only a few ingredients you can make a decadent, tart lemon curd layered over a rich, buttery shortbread crust. They are easy to make and encapsulate summer in a single bite! These are the perfect ending to a sunset picnic.
Throughout my testing of these bars I discovered that there are some things you need to know. First, use freshly squeezed lemon juice, it makes a huge difference in the flavor. I always use a ceramic dish when I bake these because I have had 2 glass dishes explode on me. If you are going to use glass, let the crust cool completely to avoid this. Second, a white layer of air bubbles on top is normal, it’s the air from the eggs rising to the surface. Some batches have it, some don’t. There are a couple of things you can do to lessen the chance of these bubbles. Make sure you’re not adding air into the eggs when you’re making the curd but gently mixing them. Another thing you can do is to not add the baking powder too early so it doesn’t react to the the lemon juice. But even if that layer is there, there is nothing so bad that a sprinkle of powdered sugar can’t cover!
- 2 ¾ cup Flour, divided
- 1 cup Butter, room temp
- 1/2c Powdered Sugar
- 8 Eggs
- 3 ½ cups Sugar
- 1 cup Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
Short Bread Crust
- Cream butter and powdered sugar until light then mix in 2 cups of flour, the mixture will be crumbly but once pinched it will stick together.
- Press into the bottom of a 9”x13” dish and par bake for 10-15 minutes in a 325° oven the crust should be pale around the edges still.
- Beat eggs together with the sugar until just mixed.
- Fold in lemon juice, baking powder, salt, and remaining flour making sure not to get too much air into the mixture.
- Once the crust is cooled completely pour the mixture onto the crust and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the center is firm. If the top is getting dark cover with foil.
- Cool Completely before sprinkling with powdered sugar to garnish.
- Cut into sized squares. When you’re cutting use a knife that was warmed in hot water and wiped dry cut and repeat for every cut.