I like lemon bars. Always have. But they’re usually made with Jello, or some other pre-packaged stuff that I really don’t want to pay attention to or I won’t want to eat it.
But these … oh my goodness. All good ingredients, and the most perfect flavor ever. Not too tart, not cloyingly sweet. Just, well … perfect.
1 fruit bar crust
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 teaspoons lemon rind (about 1 lemon)
This one’s easy. Combine the sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs and flour.
Squeeze the lemon, strain out the seeds, and measure out what you need.
I usually don’t recommend new hardware unless it really makes a difference, but if you’re going to be doing a lot of recipes that use citrus rind, get yourself a good microplane. I don’t have one, and this took forever to get the two teaspoons of rind I needed.
Make sure you don’t get down into the white pulp. It’s very bitter.
UPDATE: Down in the comments, Stephanie pointed out something blindingly obvious … if I had bothered to think about what I was doing. Get the rind before squeezing the lemon. Otherwise you’re rubbing a floppy, empty lemon peel against the grater/microplane.
Mix everything until it’s well combined, but don’t beat it. You don’t want to fluff up the eggs. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until it just starts browning on top.
This will puff up while cooking, then deflate while it cools.
When you cut the lemon bars out, keep a towel handy to wipe the knife after every cut. This is very sticky. If you let it build up on the knife you’ll end up just mashing it to bits.
You can dust them with powdered sugar, or just serve plain.
And that’s it.
Oh, be sure to refrigerate any leftovers. And cut them before refrigerating; the crust gets pretty crunchy when it cools.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.