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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sweet 'n Tart Lemon Bars

We still have lots of lemons on the tree from this year's harvest, and I'm still busy coming up with tasty recipes to use them. These lemons are so large and juicy, I only needed 2 of them to get enough juice for these delicious lemon bars.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) of very cold salted butter, cut up into small cubes

1½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
4 large eggs
Zest of 2 or 3 large lemons
¾ cup of fresh lemon juice
Powdered Sugar, for sifting on top

Crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan generously with butter. More is better here.

Sift the flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Add in the cubes of cold butter and use a pastry cutter to mix it until it's the consistency of coarse sand. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until golden around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the crust to cool for about 10 minutes.

Filling: Stir together the sugar and flour. Add the eggs, one at at time and whisk until totally combined with the sugar and flour. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix thoroughly. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until set.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

I find it much easier to cut them into squares when using a dough scraper/chopper like this, or a spatula with a sharp edge. I dip the edge into warm water before each cut, and this helps keep the crust from crumbling along the edges.

Cut the bars into 1½" to 2" squares, and then sift confectioner's powdered sugar over the top before serving.

Yield: 24 to 30 depending on the way you cut them

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