Another sweltering day here in Savannah and will be until end of August. The lunch crowd was so pleased to have this refreshing, lemony delight for dessert today.
Lightly sweetened short bread crust is patted down on foiled pan and baked for about 20 minutes. Oh, do remember to chill the crust for half and hour before baking.
For the custard like filling with a intense lemony flavor, use the real thing! Bottled lemon juice has bitter after taste so take a few extra minutes and juice the lemons. See this little wooden reamer? I love this little gadget. You can get one at Amazon.com for about $6.
Great thing about making lemon bars is you don't need a mixer, quick whisking of the ingredients will do the job.
Pour lemon egg mixture onto hot, baked crust and finish baking until it firms up, about 20 minutes.
Cool completely and chill for an hour before cutting for clean crisp squares, wiping the knife blade after each cut. Dust with powder sugar before serving.
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12.25 oz)
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar(2.6 oz) , plus extra to decorate finished bars
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks or 6 oz), at very cool room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large eggs , beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (9.3 oz)
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest from 2 large lemons
2/3 cup lemon juice from 3 to 4 large lemons, strained
1/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Take two sheets of foil, criss-crossing and line 13 by 9 baking dish, with a 2 or 3 inch overhang. Spray with oil spray.
2. Pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade. Add butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second bursts. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and press firmly with fingers into even, 1/4-inch layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
For the filling: Meanwhile, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in medium bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, milk, and salt to blend well.
To finish the bars: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling mixture to reblend; pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to near room temperature, at least 30 minutes. For cleaner cut, chill for about an hour and cut, wiping the knife blade each time with damp paper towel. Sprinkle with powder sugar and serve.