I love lemon bars because they remind me of times I've lived on both coasts...in Arizona where I ran along canals lined by citrus orchards, and in the Wash DC area where loads of oranges and lemons were brought up from Florida every summer by neighbors returning from vacation. My fascination with lemons themselves began after reading about salting them as a treat in a coming-of-age book about a young girl in a Japanese concentration camp. You'll find thick slices in my ice water at home, or cut into wedges to be used in my recipes for fish.
Their vibrant taste works great in desserts, and I finally came across a years-old, generation-passed-down recipe that I was able to modify with bottled lemon juice in place of freshly squeezed juice and grated zest. This recipe is just the right mix of tart and sweet, and not at all puckery-lemony, complete with a shortbread crust that is rich and tender. The final product proves that the lemon is more than just a pretty face, bright and shiny yellow. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and you get a pretty amazing little dessert.
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2/3 c powdered sugar
3/4 c butter, softened
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c sugar
3 T flour
1/4 c lemon juice
1. Combine flour, powdered sugar and butter. Pat into greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minute.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice until frothy. Pour over the hot crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min or until light golden brown. Cool.
3. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Cut into squares.