Zesty Lemon Bars

When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars…even if they don’t turn out perfect.

As you can see, the top of my lemon bars is brown. The original Martha Stewart recipe calls for a 20-minute baking time, but when I checked at the 16-minute mark, they looked like this. Was is it Ms. Stewart’s fault? By no means yes. Was it my fault for not checking periodically?


But anyway. The flavor of the bars, you ask? Delicious! They were definitely zesty and tart and the filling was the right texture. So what if the tops are brown?

I made a SLIGHT alteration with the recipe by adding lemon zest to the crust. I like my lemon-y desserts especially lemon-y.

The total cost for me was nothing since I got a beautiful bushel of Meyer lemons straight from her garden.

BUT really, lemons are what? Four for a dollar nowadays? Lemons, milk, butter, and some baking staples are all you need.

Ingredients for 9 x 13 pan:

  • 11 tablespoons butter, cold  and cut into small chunks
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 5 large lemons)
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Grease the baking pan and set aside.

For the crust: In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and zest. Combine well, then mix the butter in using your fingers. Quickly break the butter into smaller chunks.

Then transfer the crust to the baking pan and evenly press the dough down. The bottom layer should be ¼ inch thick layer and the sides ½-inch thick.

Transfer the pan to a freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 10 minutes.

For the filling: In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and flour. Then add the juice, milk, and salt. Whisk well. Remove the crust from the pan and add the filling. Return to the oven and baking for 14 to 18 minutes. CHECK PERIODICALLY.

Allow to cool completely before serving or refrigerating.

Serve with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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