Zesty Lemon Bars

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: Menu: Memorial Day Picnic


  • Shortbread Crust:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Lemon filling:
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lemon, zested


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. 2

    Make the crust: Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces. In a food processor or using a handheld pastry cutter, process all the shortbread ingredients until the mixture begins to form small pea-shaped lumps.

  3. 3

    Sprinkle the dough into a rectangualr 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. (The bars can also be made in a square 8- or 9-inch baking pan&em;they will be thicker and take about 15 more minutes to bake.) Using your fingers or a metal spatula, press the dough firmly and evenly onto the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan to form a 1/2-inch layer of shortbread. Prick all over with a fork.

  4. 4

    Bake the shortbread in the middle of the oven until golden, about 25 minutes. Remove it to a cooling rack. (Cover with foil to keep warm if necessary.)

  5. 5

    While the curst is baking, make the filling: In a large metal bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until well combined and a light yellow color. Stir in the lemon juice, flour, and zest.

  6. 6

    When the shortbread crust is ready and still hot, pour the lemon mixture evenly over it. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F. When it has reached the lower temperature, bake the bars in the middle of the oven until set, about 30 minutes. The top should be light brown and look a little bubbly and crusty.

  7. 7

    Let the bars cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, then cut them into 3-inch squares with a nonserrated knife.


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