Besides good old chocolate chip cookies and boxed brownies lemon bars were probably the first dessert I made on a regular basis. I think I started making them when I was in high school. I have a deep love for citrus which I often forget. Then I make some citrus dessert again and I remember. Don't tell my husband (the chocolate fanatic) but sometimes I think I might take a lemon bar over something chocolatey. I absolutely love the refreshing taste and the slight tang that goes with them. I saw a recipe a while back that called for using an entire lemon (peel and all) in the lemon bars. I already have a delicious recipe for lemon bars so I kind of disregarded it, but ever since that day I have had this desire to use an entire lemon in my lemon bars. Well this time I decided that I was going to try it! I didn't remember the site that I first saw the recipe, but I found one that also used a whole lemon. I kind of took what he did and combined it with the recipe I already had. The result was a tangy, lemony, almost perfect lemon bar. I don't think there is anything I would change. These lemon bars aren't for the mild lemon bar lover. These are real lemon bars and will knock your socks off!
One 9X13-inch pan
2 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons melted butter
1 lemon, organic or unsprayed
2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons (45g) melted unsalted butter
Optional: powdered sugar, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2. Overturn an 9X13-inch pan on the counter and wrap the outside snugly with foil, shiny side up. Remove the foil, turn the pan over, and fit the foil into the pan, pressing to nudge the foil into the corners. The smooth it as best you can.
3. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients for the crust. Once combined add the melted butter and mix until combined.
4. Smooth the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or a small offset spatula to get it as level as possible.
5. Bake the crust for 15- 20 minutes, or until it’s deep-golden brown.
6. While the crust is cooking, cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds, and cut the lemon into chunks.
7. Put the chunks of lemon in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and lemon juice, and let it run until the lemon is completely broken up. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder, and 3 tablespoons (45g) melted butter, and blend until smooth. (A few tiny bits of lemon pieces are fine if desired. I wanted mine nice and smooth.)
8. When the crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat of the oven to 300ºF (150ºC). Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 25 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling and is barely set.
9. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, carefully lift out the bars grasping the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles. Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving, if desired.
Storage: The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to three days. You can freeze the lemon bars as well for up to one month, letting them come to room temperature before serving.
Recipe Source: Adapted from David Lebovitz