Classic lemon bars

Food Network

Makes: 24 bars

For the crust:

  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 4 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 8 lemons)

Make the crust: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with vegetable oil and line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; grease the foil with oil. Pulse the butter, flour, both sugars and the salt in a food processor until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Press evenly into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan, making sure there are no cracks. Bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk the whole eggs and yolks, sugar and flour in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F. Pour the filling over the warm crust and return to the oven. Bake until the filling is just set, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack, then refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Lift out of the pan using the foil and slice. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

*Chef’s note: These definitely have a pucker power to them, as they should! Very yummy. It took only 6 1/2 lemons to get the 1 c. juice for me after rolling the lemons and then juicing them with that handy hand squeezer thingy. I had problems with my food processor blade getting stuck and had to make the crust dough in my mixer and add a couple tablespoons of milk to make it come together, but it still turned out fine in the end — just a tad dense. The top of my lemon “liquid” was a bit frothy and it kind of baked in that way, but you can’t really tell when it’s dusted with powdered sugar. And it still tastes the same. Main concern. I wouldn’t worry about over-baking these, because they are very gooey. Definitely serve straight from the fridge, and wait until then to dust with sugar (the bars just soak it right up).

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