Nothing says Spring to me more than the bright zest of lemons. I walked into our grocery store and these bright yellow lemons caught my eye. My first thought was lemon bars. I love the bright fresh taste of lemons, you just can’t get that flavor in a bottle.
To pick a good lemon choose one that is thin-skinned, heavy for its size and that the peel has a finely grained texture.
Lemons contain bioflavonoids and antioxidants. Grated lemon peel, or the zest, contains the phytonutrient d-limonene. D-limonene is found only in the oil of the peel and not in the flesh or juice of lemons. Limonoids have a high bioavailability (meaning your body absorbs them easily) and have been shown to help fight several types of cancers. The juice of lemons slows oxidation on avocados, apples and bananas…proof of their power as an antioxidant.
- Vitamin C: 31 mg
- Potassium: 80 mg
Lemon bars are easy to make. In this version you pre-cook the crust, this helps insure a crisp bottom.
They are best eaten the same day!
This crispy almond crust is the perfect balance to the creamy lemon filling.
I started off by preparing the crust. I toast the almonds in a small pan over medium heat. You have to keep your eye on these little guys, they like to burn fast. Just stir and toss them around the pan a few times and you should be good. Let them cool off a bit then chop them up into little bits so you can;mix them into the flour.
Bake the crust just until the edges are slightly brown. The filling is fast to prepare 😀 Start by whisking the eggs in a bowl. I like to make sure they are combined well. I prefer to whisk in each ingredient individually. Begin with the sugar, then follow with the lemon juice and zest. Gradually whisk, in the flour so that your filling stays smooth.
- For crust
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 6 T unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
- For Filling
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (4 small or 2 large)
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely minced
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350º, line 8 inch square baking ban with foil. Spray inside of foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Toast almonds in a pan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Take care not to burn.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and chopped almonds. Using a fork or a pastry blender cut the butter into mix until mixture looks like small crumbs. Transfer mix into prepared pan, spread and press onto the bottom.
- Bake until edges are golden, 20-25 minutes
- For Filling:
- In a small bowl whisk eggs together. Whisk in the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Next gradually whisk in the flour. Whisk until mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Pour filling over warm crust. Bake until filling no longer jiggles, about 18-20 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack. When completely cooled lift the foil to remove from pan.
- Cut evenly into 9 squares, then cut squares on diagonal.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Slightly Adapted from Cuisine at Home
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack, then pull the foil up to remove the bars from pan. Gently pull back the foil from the lemon bars.
You can’t have lemon bars without their signature sprinkling of powdered sugar. I like to cut them and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
I prefer these in little triangles. They make for a great snack and dessert 😀
These can be made ahead, don’t add powdered sugar…just cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve bring to room temperature and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. I use a sifter to get an even sprinkling.
You are going to love these lemon bars because the filling deliciously tart and creamy and the crust is slightly sweet with a great almond crunch.
I’d love to know what you think 😀