Hot darn are these bars delicious. The are amazingly lemony and have a rich shortbread base, they are by far the best lemon bars I have ever made! The incorporation of both juice and zest really put their lemon factor over the top, so these are definitely not for the weak of heart.
Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars
As seen on Smitten Kitchen
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar (plain white granulated)
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used regular and it worked just fine)
For the lemon layer:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons, if they are large you will probably only need 4)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles (or what ever shape you please) and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Remember to cut them into small pieces though, because they are delicious but rich and strong.
If you seek a lemon bar experience that offers a greater role to the shortbread crust, hop on over to Deb’s post for a variation with a thinner lemon layer.