Lip-Puckering Lemon Bars

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Happy Holidays from Alina! I’m home in west Michigan for Thanksgiving — on a short break from residency interviews, which means some free time = time for baking experimentation! My mom baked us a pumpkin pie last night, so today I thought I would gravitate away from the traditional fall pumpkin spice/sweet potato goodies and try my hand at one of my favorite desserts: the lemon bar. Smooth, delightfully tart custard with a buttery shortbread base… I start drooling just thinking about them. Local plug: one of my favorite lemon bars EVER is from Detroit’s Avalon International Breads — they add fresh raspberries on top.

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Lemon bar from Avalon

Since this was my first time baking these and berries are a bit out of season here in Michigan, I stuck to a traditional, nothing-but-lemon version. I like my lemon bars super tart–hence the title of this blog post :)–so here we go:

Ingredients:
Shortbread-
– 1 cup salted butter, softened (if using unsalted butter, be sure to add a little bit of salt to your dough!)
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp lemon zest

Filling-
– 6 eggs
– 1 1/3 cup white sugar
– 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
– 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 6-7 small lemons)
– 1 tsp lemon zest
– powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, blend the softened butter, 2 cups flour, and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with 1 tsp lemon zest.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until firm. Allow to cool in refrigerator or freezer for 10-15 minutes.

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4. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 tbsp flour, and 1 tsp (or more if you like!) of lemon zest. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the cooled crust.

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5. Bake for an additional 30-32 minutes. Sift some powdered sugar over the top while warm (so it sticks!), and then allow to cool in the fridge for a couple hours before slicing.

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Let the mouth-watering commence.

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Lemon-y, tart, slightly sweet; pucker those lips!

 

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