Chef John's Lemon Bars
An intensely flavored layer of lemon custard atop a crisp, sweet shortbread crust makes these favorite cookies almost like little slices of lemon pie.
I'm not normally a lemon bar person but my friend has a lemon tree and wanted to make them. After lots of research I decided to go with Chef John's recipe. We doubled it and made it in two 8x8" pans. They were phenomenal! The sugar crust on top is great, wonderful nice shortbread bottom. Could probably scale back the sugar on the lemon filling to about 3/4 cup. I did what other reviewers suggested and used cold butter and cut it into the dough with my hands until crumbly. Then pressed down the dough into pans lined with foil.
Okay, I'm planting a lemon tree in he back yard. These were loved by everyone. Chef John once again.... Chef Bob.
These tart, rich lemon bars need just seven common ingredients you probably already have, and are done in 55 minutes!
I have been searching for the best Lemon Bar recipe for years - I believe I found it! First, the texture of the filling is perfect - not "soggy" or too dry. The balance of lemon tartness is also spot on. The crust is ideal. I baked as directed in timing of the recipe and both the crust and filling were perfect. I took the hint of cutting the edge with a knife dipped in hot water - it worked. I also dipped my small metal spatula in hot water, tapped on paper towel so it was just "damp" to cut the bars - awesome - no pulling half the filling up on the spatula - produced a nice, clean, straight cut. Bottom line - this is my number one go to recipe for Lemon Bars!
First lemon bar recipe I have tried. Turned out great! However, I would use less flour for the crust for a 8X8 frame. My crust was thicker then I like. All in all very good. The filling was perfection.
Thanks, Chef John! Oh boy, these are goooood. I've made some pretty good lemon bars in my life, but hubby and I both agree these are the best. The filling is very lemony, with a perfect balance of tartness and sweet. It set up wonderfully. I'm not 100% sold on the crust, as I tend to prefer one a bit more substantial and firm, but that is simply my preference. This crust is excellent, as long as you are aware it is more flaky than firm. Two comments, though, and both on the crust. I'd suggest mixing the salt with the flour first, then adding the butter. I also had a hard time with the finger-wetting bit. The crust kept sticking to my hands. I gave up and dusted my fingers with flour, instead. MUCH easier. EDIT 2/9/14: I made the bars yet again (I've lost count how many times now) and changed the crust a little. Same ingredients, but mixed the dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulsed in CHILLED butter cut into pieces (like pastry crust), then lightly pressed it all into the pan. It came out perfect!