How To Make the Best Lemon Bars — Baking Lessons from The Kitchn

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Line the dish with a parchment paper sling, leaving an overhang of about 2 inches on each long side; set aside.”,”image”:{“id”:”eceaba7dbb0554c757ef75c5184929d641864c34″,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.152-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.152-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_Cauliflower__BU7A1425_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”b761b260341b0d66a85dee4d0c139f0779d5a6cd”,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003eMake the crust: \u003c/b\u003ePlace the flour, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 5 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.”,”image”:{“id”:”b761b260341b0d66a85dee4d0c139f0779d5a6cd”,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.306-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.306-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_Cauliflower__BU7A1440_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”6c6dfb224b8008493a63551f660cb5329b09f6ca”,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003ePress the crust in and chill:\u003c/b\u003e Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to press the crumbs into an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.”,”image”:{“id”:”6c6dfb224b8008493a63551f660cb5329b09f6ca”,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.395-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.395-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_Cauliflower__BU7A1450_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”d785a9cd2ca82c71dece90b215c014467d8804ec”,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003eParbake the crust:\u003c/b\u003e Bake the crust until light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.”,”image”:{“id”:”d785a9cd2ca82c71dece90b215c014467d8804ec”,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.141-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.141-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_LemonBars_BU7A1472_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”23124551d2bcf1a2005f9bedef906985089d1596″,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003eMake the filling:\u003c/b\u003e Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, zest, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, and then the flour, until combined.”,”image”:{“id”:”23124551d2bcf1a2005f9bedef906985089d1596″,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.469-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-09T17:07:46.469-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_Cauliflower__BU7A1460_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”bc36cf11fc266de5be8242a62d9254fcfc319d6e”,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003ePour the filling onto crust:\u003c/b\u003e Remove the parbaked crust from the oven. Pour the lemon filling onto the warm crust.”,”image”:{“id”:”bc36cf11fc266de5be8242a62d9254fcfc319d6e”,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.071-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.071-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_LemonBars_BU7A1475_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”2eba08728cb2fe8314d704a83b898930cd2a61a2″,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003eBake the lemon bars:\u003c/b\u003e Return the pan to the oven and bake until light brown around the edges and the top appears relatively dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.”,”image”:{“id”:”2eba08728cb2fe8314d704a83b898930cd2a61a2″,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.164-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.164-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_LemonBars_TheKitchn_3_3_40794_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”325aef72e67be80a8bc688951ea8501bd4da48a0″,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003eDust with powdered sugar:\u003c/b\u003e Remove the lemon bars from the pan using the parchment sling. Use a fine mesh strainer to generously dust the bars with powdered sugar.”,”image”:{“id”:”325aef72e67be80a8bc688951ea8501bd4da48a0″,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.164-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.164-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_LemonBars_TheKitchn_3_3_40800_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”08b0261ee370f730d9fd290610fc826521c83bc2″,”caption”:”\u003cb\u003eCut the lemon bars:\u003c/b\u003e Cut the lemon bars: Place on a cutting board and cut into 12 pieces. Dust with more powdered sugar, if desired, before serving. “,”image”:{“id”:”08b0261ee370f730d9fd290610fc826521c83bc2″,”width”:5760,”height”:3840,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:757,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.214-05:00″,”updated_at”:”2017-03-10T08:19:10.214-05:00″,”credit_style”:”external”,”credit_author_id”:757,”credit_name”:”Lauren Volo”,”credit_url”:”http://www.laurenvolo.com”,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”HT_LemonBars_TheKitchn_3_3_40822_.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:null,”focus_z”:null}}]};

Let’s just get this out of the way — I really love lemon bars. Sure, I love chocolate chip cookies and a very good brownie as much as the next person, but lemon bars light me up like a little kid; their eye-catching brightness and promise of a sweet pucker always reel me in. This lemon bar is what I consider the ideal, with a buttery shortbread crust that is sturdy but tender enough to bite through and a thick and luscious filling with a balance of sweetness and tangy lemon brightness.

A solid recipe for this beloved bakery-style treat remained elusive to me for many years, as I often attempted to turn lemon curd into bars without success. As it turns out, there are just a few key steps to making the very best lemon bars at home, including a secret ingredient for a soft and sturdy crust, smart timing for filling the crust, and a lemon filling (not curd) that bakes up with all the brightness I was searching for. Here’s how to make the very best classic lemon bars at home.

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