One of my very best friends from my Indiana Statehouse days loves lemon bars. I have made several variations over the years and we remember Ina Garten’s recipe as the winner. The shortbread crust is fail-proof and the filling is just the right balance of tart and sweet. They are so easy to make and they smell like summer. Perfect for Labor Day weekend as our summer whites are packed away for next year.
Recipe via Barefoot Contessa
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.