Easy Lemon Bars

When life hands me lemons, I make lemon bars. And with just two lemons and a handful of other ingredients, these bars are both easy and downright delicious. The filling is reminiscent of lemon curd and the crust is just a simple shortbread-inspired crumble. In about an hour's time, you'll have a dessert that you will turn to again and again.

Sometimes I encourage readers to tweak recipes. This is not one of those times. Fresh lemons - zest and juice - give these bars their amazing flavor and butter in the crust gives them a solid shortbread base. Save the tweaking for another time and pay close attention to the ingredient list this time around. Also, use a food processor to assemble the crust, if you can. It will give you a very consistent crust and save you a lot of time and effort.

I like having one of these bars alongside a cup of lemon-ginger tea on a cold day. Nothing like the tang of lemon to bring forth thoughts of warming trends and sunshine. Think of these bars as balm against winter's worst. Enjoy!

Easy Lemon Bars

For the crust:
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
For the filling:
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of two lemons, very finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons, (about ⅔ cup juice)

To make the crust, blend together the butter, sugar, flour, and baking powder in a food processor or by using a pastry cutter.

Press the crumbly mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes at 350° F. The bottom of the crust should just be beginning to brown slightly at the top edges.

To make the filling, whisk together the sugar, flour, eggs, zest, and lemon juice until the sugar is fully dissolved. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes before whisking together well again and pouring over the baked crust.

Bake at 350° F for another 20- 25 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and the custard appears to be set. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

  • Yields: 36 bars
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour