Have you ever been convinced you just plain won’t like something? You haven’t tried it but surely, you won’t be a fan. I have a few times and then I saddle up to try it and my first bite I’m not quite sure I’m convinced but then wham. Next thing I know, I’m craving them. That’s what happened with my mother-in-law’s Luscious Lemon bars. They are Ryan’s favorite dessert and I’ve never been over eager to make them all the time for him because he’d be the only one to eat them. Turns out – nope, definitely not the only one to eat them and these things are no joke. So delicious and I know exactly why they are his favorite. I never have lemon concentrate in my freezer like her recipe calls for but this last time I made them I did have a lot of fresh lemons and fresh squeezed lemon juice made this recipe even more delicious so that’s what I’m sticking to from now on.
I’m telling you right now, once you make these bars you will be craving them and making them all spring and summer…maybe all year around. When Spring is in the air I always start looking forward to lemon’s in my water and the refreshing idea that comes with them. I just made these bars for Easter yesterday because they are just so good and feel like Spring.
You’ll need four eggs, granulated sugar, 4-5 lemons, flour, powdered sugar and butter for this recipe and a 8×8 square pan. Not many ingredients and not a ton of work either. There is two parts of this recipe – the crust and the filling. We make the lemon portion in our kitchen aid with the whisk attachment but any old bowl and whisky will do and we make the crust in a bowl and work it by hand.
We typically make the crust portion first so that it can start baking while we make the filling. You’re going to mix your 1 cup butter and 1/3 cup of powdered sugar together then cut in the 1/2 c butter. I usually dice the butter up small and add it in then we work it all together with our hands until there are pea sized pearls of butter mixture. This is an excellent time to get the kids to dig in and help. A loves this part. Once it’s all ready you are going to press it into the pan. I do not grease the bottom but I do use a little Pam on the sides of the square pan to prevent the lemon mixture from sticking when backing.
You are going to then stick the crust into the oven at 350* for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. I recommend using a fork to poke some holes into the crust for baking.
While the crust is baking get your lemon mixture going. Squeeze out 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice and set aside. Then whisk in your 4 eggs until they are lighter colored and thick. Add in your 3/4 c sugar to the eggs and beat for a few moments until well blended. Slowly pour in the fresh lemon juice and mix well until lightly colored and frothy. I love letting A help me with this process too. She’s a master at the KitchenAid speeds and the head lock. She’s also excellent at pouring in any ingredients and she’s getting pretty good at the egg cracking too. Little baker in the making.
When your crust is ready, pull it out of the oven and pour your lemon mixtures straight onto the hot crust – obviously, this is the one step that A isn’t allowed to help with because of the hot pan but she does stand back and watch – and put right back into the oven. You will cook the mixture until it’s golden brown on the top of the lemon bars and your toothpick should come out clean. This process takes about 20-25 minutes. If your mixture is browning faster than the inside is cooking just cover it with a bit of tinfoil until finished.
Once your lemon bars are out of the oven, go ahead and put a light layer of powdered sugar on the top. Then let it cool before service. Letting it cool will help it set up and feel a bit less jelly. Then enjoy!
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (4-5 Freshly Squeezed Lemons)
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar + 1/8 c or less for dusting the top
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Mix together 1 cup flour + 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar.
- Cut in 1/2 C Butter.
- Mix together well until the butter and dry ingredients form pea size balls.
- Press mixture into your ungreased 8x8 baking pan.
- Bake in oven until crust is a beautiful golden brown.
- While the crust is baking, whisk 4 eggs until lightly colored and thick - this takes a couple of minutes.
- Add in 3/4 cup of sugar to the egg mixture and mix well.
- Slowly pour the lemon juice into the bowl and mix until a nice light color and the mixture is fluffy.
- Pour mixture into the hot crust and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top of the lemon bars are a light golden color. Cover with foil if necessary. Toothpick should come out clean when checking it.
- Once the bars are removed from the oven give it a gentle coat of powdered sugar and let cool before serving.
Tell me – what is your favorite dessert that reminds you of Spring? These obviously top our list, and so do our Raspberry Crisp Bars.