When temperatures dangerously hover near the triple digits…
When you carry a water bottle everywhere…
When storms spring up out of seemingly nowhere…
When the swimming trade-off that involves the painstaking peeling of a wet swimsuit from your body no longer sounds unappealing…
When you drink cold drinks. I mean, really cold. Like, your drink could’ve been an ice cube in another life…
When you walk outside and sweat. Right away. And it takes awhile to stop…
When last winter suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all…
When you crave foods cool and satisfying…
That’s when you know summer is here.
I should be grateful that it took as long as it did to arrive. Typically we’d see this sort of weather beginning in June. But it’s almost mid-July, so I really can’t complain. But I still dread the two summer months still to come…
There are many ways to cool off during a heat blast. One of my favorites, though, is munching on this deliciously cool, sweet + sour bar. It’s tart like iced lemonade, but it’s sugary sweet like a dessert should be. The shortbread crust is buttery and salty. It is absolutely finger-licking, scrumptiously satisfying. In short, it is everything a summer treat should be.
I’ve used this recipe for simply forever, because why mess with a good thing when you have it? However, I have made some slight alterations to the original recipe (which can be found here at Eats Well With Others), developing a bar that is a little more to my taste.
Notes on the Recipe
I increased the salt in the crust slightly, just to help counteract the buttery sweetness. I also only add enough zest to taste, typically whatever I can get from 1 or 1 1/2 lemons. The crust can be made ahead and stored at room temperature until you’re ready to back the filling. I don’t recommend letting it wait longer than 6 hours, however.
Summertime Lemon Bars
1/2 pound butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Zest from 1 – 1 1/2 lemons, or according to preference (can add up to 2 tablespoons if desired)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice*
1 cup flour
Powdered sugar (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
To make the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt and, with mixer on low, add to the butter and beat just until mixed. With floured hands, roll the dough into a ball and then place in greased baking pan. Pat and flatten dough until evenly distributed on the bottom of the baking pan. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.** Cool for about 10-20 minutes before pouring lemon layer over.
For the lemon layer, mix together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour in an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Pour over cooled crust, then bake for 30-35 minutes or until set. It is easy to overbake the lemon layer, so I start checking it at 25 minutes to test for doneness.
Let cool completely (the lemon layer is extremely hot) before cutting into squares, triangles, or whatever shape you desire! Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
*To help extract juice, place lemons in the microwave for about 10 seconds or until warm.
**The crust may even look undercooked, but pull it out anyway if it is bubbling up and is turning brown. Otherwise you may end up with a crunchy, overbaked crust!
Bake, eat, enjoy! Until next time…