Traditional Lemon Bars


We love this recipe to showcase the particular flavor of Meyer Lemons, but certainly regular lemons can be substituted.

For the crust:
Cooking spray or butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Note: It’s helpful to know right away that you’ll need three lemons to make these bars. With a triple dose of lemon flavor — zest in both the crust and filling and the fresh juice in the filing — zest the lemons first, and then juice them. You’ll have more than enough zest for both the crust and filling, and will avoid the awkward zesting of half a juiced lemon.

Preheat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F.
Prepare the baking dish: Lightly coat an 11×7-inch baking glass dish with cooking spray or butter. Line the dish with a parchment paper sling, leaving an overhang of about 2 inches on each long side; set aside.

Make the crust: Place the flour, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 5 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Press the crust in and chill: Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to press the crumbs into an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Parbake the crust: Bake the crust until light golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

While crust bakes, make the filling: Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, and then the flour, until combined.

Pour the filling onto crust: Remove the parbaked crust from the oven. Pour the lemon filling onto the warm crust.

Bake the lemon bars: Return the pan to the oven and bake until light brown around the edges and the top appears relatively dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Dust with powdered sugar: Remove the lemon bars from the pan using the parchment sling. Use a fine-mesh strainer to generously dust the bars with powdered sugar.

Cut the lemon bars: Place on a cutting board and cut into 12 pieces. Dust with more powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.

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