Lemon Bars

lemons remind me of three things:

  1. Cute videos of babies eating lemons for the first time

  2. Liz Lemon 

  3. my parents' giant meyer lemon tree
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There's this giant lemon tree in my parents' backyard that completely overflows when the fruits are in season. And the even better part about it is that they're meyer lemon trees- but you know, my parents can only make so much lemon tea and drink so much lemon water.

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So whenever I'm home, I make a point to bring back a bag of lemons because free meyer lemons are a million times better than paying like $1.50 per lemon. 

and also, it's like one of those things where food tastes better when your parents hand it to you. baked goods with lemons taste better when they're made with lemons hand-picked by your parents. i'm a little homesick now, can you tell?

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this recipe is tweaked from a recipe from my friends J+M. The original recipe calls for the bars to be baked in a greased 9x13 pan- but you end up with a really thin layer of crust and lemon filling.

So, I doubled the lemon filling, baked it in a smaller pan (11x9-inch) and added lemon zest. And it was delightful. The crust is a shortbread- buttery and sweet enough to match the tangy lemon flavor.

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baker's notes: It's a versatile recipe- add more or less lemon zest, bake it in a larger or smaller dish, halve the lemon portion. whatever floats your boat, but make sure to adjust baking times as necessary.

oh, and be sure to grease the pan well or line with parchment paper. *insert liz lemon eye roll if your bars get stuck.

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lemon bars

makes 24 squares

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Lemon filling
6 eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of two lemons


preheat oven to 375 f. grease a baking dish, then line with parchment paper. i used a 9x11-inch pan, but feel free to use a 9x9-inch pan or 9x13-inch pan.

in a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients together. press the dough into prepared pan evenly. bake crust for 20 minutes, or until slightly golden.

while the crust is baking, whisk the lemon filling ingredients together until frothy. i use the same bowl. you may need to rebeat the lemon mixture before pouring it in. 

pour the lemon mixture over the hot crust, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.

let the bars cool, then dust with powdered sugar if desired. cut into squares, and enjoy!!

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