I've never had lemon bars before because up until my recent adult years, I've steered clear of everything lemon flavoured. I'm not sure why, I just didn't care for it. So over the holiday last week, I decided to give the recipe a try. I figured, what could it hurt, I made Blueberry Buttermilk Scones with Lemons in it and that turned out great! Boy was I wrong!
I won't include the original recipe or where I got it from because I feel that it was just so horrible. I ended up with a crust so incredibly thick that I had to periodically bat the batter down with a spatula while it baked like a bad child. Also, because the recipe called for pre-baking the crust, it ended up burning a little because you have to put it back for the lemon layer. So I changed the baking time for the crust. The batter was runny like Niagara Falls, and way too tart (yes I know it's Lemon Bars, but my goodness, there was no balance of flavours). I ended up adding 1/2 cup of flour to thicken it because I knew if I put it in the oven that way, it would've spilled over and made a mess, and taken forever to bake. The original recipe offered two layers for the lemon, full-sized or thinner. My pan could only handle the thinner so that's what I'm giving you. I also added almond and vanilla extract to really marry the flavours, and it was the best decision I ever made!
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the lemon layer:
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Now that I've made the changes, I absolutely love these! Even my dad, mum and step-dad loved them! It's the perfect dessert to munch on in small doses and share with friends!
Whip up a batch of these for the weekend! What's your favourite bite-size dessert to snack on? Tell me about it in the comment section below!