Who doesn’t love a good lemon bar? I have tried many a lemon bar recipe, and most of them have been just fine. Yesterday I was browsing through my copy of Emily Luchetti’s Classic Stars Desserts and found another lemon bar (Lemon Squares, to be exact) recipe to try.
I confess I had my doubts, only because the recipe has just a few ingredients, and I could not understand what would make these superior to other lemon bar recipes. Well, I am now a believer. These lemon bars are tangy and tart with a thin crunchy top layer and a melt-in-your-mouth crumbly crust.
LEMON SQUARES by Emily Luchetti
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into little chunks
6 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 lemons. I only bought 2 lemons, so I had to supplement my juice with Realemon)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325F.
Combine the flour & powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until blended. Add the butter chunks and mix until the butter is the size of small peas, about 30 seconds. It will be a very dry mixture. (My chunks didn’t get quite pea-sized, so I rubbed the butter in a bit with my fingers until I got the consistency I wanted). Dump the mixture into a 9×13 pan and gently press onto the bottom. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool to room temp. REDUCE THE OVEN TEMP TO 300F.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the flour. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Bake until lemon filling is set, about 40 minutes (I baked mine for about 44 minutes, and the filling was still underbaked. So, the end result of mine was super gooey, messy lemon bars, but they still taste good, and I figure it’s better than overbaked lemon filling). Remove and let cool to room temp. You can put them in the fridge for an hour after cooling, or you can just keep it at room temp for another couple of hours. Cut into squares and EAT. Keep leftovers in the fridge.