I made these tangy lemon bars recently for a light dessert ... fresh, sweet and tart at the same time, very lemony! Most recipes call for the juice of 2 lemons or something like that. The amount of juice you get out of lemons can vary considerably so I prefer to use a more specific measure. By leaving the amount of sugar the same, you can increase the tartness of the bars by increasing the lemon juice from a minimum of 2/3 cup up to 3/4 cup.
Once I had committed to making these, I realized I did not have enough white sugar. I actually used some turbinado sugar in the base although I had traditionally used white (so that is what I show in the recipe below).
As for the lemon layer, I found a jar of vanilla sugar I had made after using up a vanilla bean for another recipe - just pop the used up vanilla pod into a jar of sugar and you'll have a beautifully scented sugar for your coffee. Or it will boost up the flavour when used in baking.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp flour (just over 1/4 cup)
2/3 - 3/4 cup lemon juice (approx. 3)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the base, combine the first 3 ingredients together then press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until base is golden and very slightly pulling away at the edges.
And some of it will have soaked into the crust to form a thin gooey middle layer.
Chill at least one hour before cutting into the bars.
For any experienced bakers out there ... any idea why the bubbles formed on top? I haven't had that happen before. Maybe I just needed to tap the pan a bit to let it settle before popping into the oven? Oh well, it certainly doesn't affect the flavour.
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