These simple Lemon Bars are sure to win your heart. They’re zesty, slightly sweet, and beyond easy to make!
But recently, I may have had the best lemon bar I’ve ever tried from this quaint Amish bakery. Yep, we are right in the thick of Amish country.
If you drive all the way down the main road next to my neighborhood, you are likely to witness horse-drawn carriages and miles of farmland. It’s quiet and peaceful out this way.
When I saw little Amish bakery I just had to go in and take a peek at their goods. The shelves were stocked with homemade bread, cookies, pies, brownies, lemon bars, hand pies, jams, butters… so much good stuff.
I think we walked out of there with one of everything. But what stands out the most is the zesty lemon bar. It was perfection!
I have been craving lemon bars ever since. It should be no surprise that I was compelled to recreate these bars myself. The balance between the tangy lemon and sugar was spot on.
I love a tart lemon bar that isn’t overly sweet. And these bars are just that!
The crust is like a buttery shortbread cookie. It doesn’t get much better than that!
I bake it for about 25 minutes before adding the lemon filling on top. This allows for the crust to get nice and crispy so it can support the filling without becoming a combined mess.
The lemon filling is tart, creamy, and has the right balance of sweet. For the best flavor, make sure to use fresh lemon juice. Not the bottled stuff. It really does make a difference.
This filling is made with eggs, sugar, flour, salt, and lemon juice. Everything gets whisked together in one bowl and poured right over the hot crust. Bake it for another 25 minutes to set the filling and you’re done.
It’s too easy.
The bars need to cool completely and then chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. This is to ensure that they won’t go all over the place once you cut into them.
This is truly my favorite lemon bar recipe!
Here are some items I recommend for making this recipe:
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These simple lemon bars are sure to win your heart. They’re zest, sweet, and beyond easy to make!
For the crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest about 2 lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature, cut into pieces
For the filling
- 6 large eggs
- 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Make the crust
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil with enough overhang on all sides for easy removal.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Stir to combine. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Make the filling
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt. Whisk until smooth and free of lumps. Stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the hot crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set around the edges but the center is slightly jiggly.
Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Lift the bars out of the pan using the foil overhang. Cut into squares and dust with confectioner's sugar.
Make ahead tip
Bars will keep for up to 3 days stored covered in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Place the bars on a baking sheet and freeze until the bars are frozen all the way through (about 2-3 hours). Then, wrap each lemon bar in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Bottled lemon juice can be used in place of fresh lemon juice. Keep in mind that bottled juice is much stronger and more acidic than fresh juice.