Luscious Lemon Bars are a zesty and irresistible dessert that brings a burst of sunshine to your taste buds. This classic treat combines the bright and tangy flavour of freshly squeezed lemons with a buttery shortbread crust, creating a harmonious balance of sweet and tart in every bite.
Each square of these delightful bars is a tantalising journey of textures—the crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth base contrasting perfectly with the smooth and luscious lemony filling. A dusting of powdered sugar on top adds a touch of elegance to these little squares of citrusy bliss.
Whether savoured as a refreshing snack, a delightful dessert, or a bright addition to any special occasion, Luscious Lemon Bars are a timeless favourite that embodies the simplicity and joy of homemade baking. Join us in discovering the art of crafting these lemony delights and brightening your day with their delectable flavour.
How To Make This Recipe
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 200g (7 oz) plain flour
- 100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 50g (1.7 oz) icing sugar
- A pinch of salt
For the Lemon Filling:
- 4 large eggs
- 200g (7 oz) granulated sugar
- 120ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Additional icing sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line a 20×20 cm (8×8 inch) square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
2. Prepare the Shortbread Crust:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, softened unsalted butter, icing sugar, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture.
- Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan to form the crust.
3. Bake the Crust:
- Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until it turns a light golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly.
4. Make the Lemon Filling:
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, plain flour, and baking powder until well combined.
5. Pour and Bake:
- Pour the lemon filling over the baked shortbread crust.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is set and has a slight jiggle in the centre when gently shaken.
6. Cool and Slice:
- Allow the Luscious Lemon Bars to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, refrigerate them for at least an hour to set the filling.
- Use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan and place them on a cutting board.
- Cut into squares or bars, dusting the tops with icing sugar just before serving.
7. Serve and Enjoy:
- Serve these tangy and sweet Luscious Lemon Bars as a delightful treat or dessert. Their bright and zesty flavour is sure to be a hit!
These homemade Luscious Lemon Bars are a perfect blend of citrusy goodness and buttery richness, making them a delightful addition to any occasion or a wonderful treat for a refreshing snack.
Tips Of Recipe
Creating the perfect Luscious Lemon Bars requires attention to detail. Here are some tips to ensure your bars turn out just right:
1. Use Fresh Lemons:
- For the best lemon flavour, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest. Avoid bottled lemon juice, which lacks the vibrant taste of fresh lemons.
2. Softened Butter:
- Ensure your butter is softened to room temperature when making the shortbread crust. It will mix more easily and create a tender crust.
3. Line the Pan:
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper and leave an overhang on the sides. This makes it easy to lift the bars out for slicing.
4. Press the Crust Firmly:
- Press the shortbread crust firmly and evenly into the pan to create a solid base for the lemon filling.
5. Bake the Crust First:
- Pre-baking the shortbread crust helps it set and prevents it from becoming soggy when the lemon filling is added.
6. Don’t Overbake:
- Be cautious not to overbake the bars. The lemon filling should have a slight jiggle in the centre when gently shaken; it will continue to set as it cools.
7. Allow to Cool Completely:
- Let the bars cool completely in the pan before refrigerating them. This ensures the filling sets properly and makes slicing easier.
8. Refrigerate Before Cutting:
- Refrigerating the bars for at least an hour after cooling helps firm up the lemon filling, making it easier to cut neat squares.
9. Dust with Icing Sugar Before Serving:
- Dust the tops of the bars with icing sugar just before serving to add a touch of sweetness and a pretty finish.
10. Experiment with Variations: – Get creative by adding a handful of fresh berries or a dollop of whipped cream when serving for extra flavour and visual appeal.
11. Store Properly: – Store any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for freshness.
12. Enjoy Fresh: – Luscious Lemon Bars are at their best when enjoyed within a few days of baking.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to create Luscious Lemon Bars that are bursting with bright lemony flavour and have a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness—a delightful treat for any occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice is recommended for the best flavour. While you can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch, it may result in a slightly different taste.
- Can I make these bars ahead of time?
- Yes, you can make Luscious Lemon Bars in advance. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two before serving.
- Can I freeze Lemon Bars?
- Yes, Lemon Bars can be frozen. Ensure they are tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.
- Why did my lemon bars turn out too tart or too sweet?
- The sweetness of the bars can be adjusted by varying the amount of sugar in the lemon filling. You can add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter flavour or reduce it for a tarter taste.
- How do I prevent the shortbread crust from becoming soggy?
- Pre-baking the crust helps prevent it from becoming soggy when the lemon filling is added. Ensure the crust is fully baked before pouring in the filling.
- Can I use margarine instead of butter in the shortbread crust?
- While butter is recommended for the best flavour and texture, you can use margarine as a substitute. However, it may slightly alter the taste and texture of the crust.
- What is the best way to store Lemon Bars?
- Store leftover Lemon Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
- Can I add other flavours to the lemon bars, like coconut or berries?
- Absolutely! You can experiment with various additions like shredded coconut or fresh berries to create your unique twist on these bars.
- Why did my lemon bars crack on top?
- Cracking can occur if the bars are overbaked or if the filling is overmixed. Be cautious not to overbake, and avoid vigorous mixing once the filling ingredients are combined.
- Can I use a different type of citrus fruit, like limes or oranges, for the filling?
- Yes, you can use limes or oranges to create variations of citrus bars. Adjust the sugar quantity to your taste for the desired tartness or sweetness.
- Can I omit the icing sugar dusting on top?
- Certainly, you can omit the icing sugar if you prefer a less sweet finish or if you’re serving the bars to someone with dietary restrictions.
These frequently asked questions provide valuable insights into making, storing, and customizing your Luscious Lemon Bars, ensuring that your baking experience is as enjoyable as the delightful end result.
Calories: Approximately 150-200 calories per square
Protein: Around 2-3 grams
Fat: Approximately 8-10 grams
- Saturated Fat: About 5-6 grams
- Trans Fat: Varies based on the type of butter used
Carbohydrates: Approximately 18-20 grams
- Dietary Fiber: Around 0.5-1 gram
- Sugars: Approximately 12-15 grams
Cholesterol: Typically, Luscious Lemon Bars contain a moderate amount of cholesterol due to the eggs and butter used in the recipe.
Sodium: Approximately 50-70 milligrams
Vitamins and Minerals:
- Calcium: Provides a small amount of calcium.
- Iron: Contains a minimal amount of iron.
- Vitamin C: Provides a small amount of Vitamin C from the fresh lemon juice and zest.