Race Day Week: Lemon Bars

Well, here in Indianapolis we all have Indy 500 fever!  So I’ve decided to do a Race Day Week series with recipes you can use for your upcoming race day party.  (And if you don’t care about race day, these recipes are perfect for Memorial Day festivities as well!)

Monday: Appetizer – The Perfect Deviled Eggs
Tuesday: Entree – Pulled Pork
Wednesday: Sides – Easy Mac & Cheese and Baked Beans
Thursday: Desserts
Friday: Decor
Saturday: Bloggy Roundup – More Recipes and Ideas

This afternoon I’m featuring Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars.

You’ll need:

To start, go ahead and zest all your lemons.  You’ll need 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, which is about 4-6 lemons.

Zesting is shaving off the peel (the yummy part), but not going so far as to get the pith (the bitter part).  Your lemon should look something like this when it’s all zested.

Now we’ll go ahead and make the crust, since the hard part of the recipe is done.  (Maybe not hard, but a bit tedious.)

Cream some butter and sugar together.

Combine the flour and salt and mix with the butter and sugar.

Gather the dough into a ball and plop it right down in your greased pan.  A 9×13 baking pan or bar pan would be fine for these.  (The recipe actually calls for you to combine the dough on a well floured board before plopping it on your pan.  I found this step totally unnecessary.)

With your fingers, press the dough down and push up a 1/2 inch on all sides.

The recipe says to chill the dough.  Since I like to play it fast and loose with the term chill, I’m pretty sure I didn’t chill the dough.  I just baked it for 17-18 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once it was done baking, I let it sit for a little bit to cool down.

Now for the filling.

I would suggest juicing your lemons at this point.  You’ll need about a cup of juice.  You can get away with about 3/4 cup, though.  Not that I would know that.  Since I didn’t spill any of the juice on my countertop or anything.  Ahem.

Now whisk together the eggs and sugar (no one said this recipe was healthy!).  This recipe calls for 6 extra-large eggs.  Since I really only buy large eggs, I added about 3.5 tablespoons of water to supplement the liquid.  If you have a full cup of lemon juice, I wouldn’t worry about adding the water.

Then add the zest, juice, and flour.

Pour it over your crust and bake at 350 degrees F for about 35 minutes.

And when they’re set they’ll look like this:

Once they’re cool, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top, cut into pieces, and serve on a platter.  (Or if you can’t resist, just eat straight out of the pan.  No one’s judging here.)

Lemon Bars (source)
Crust Ingredients:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt

Filling Ingredients:
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Powdered sugar, for dusting the bars when done (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

For your crust, cream together the butter and sugar.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Add to the butter/sugar mixture.  Form into a ball and press into a greased 9×13 baking pan, building up a 1/2 inch of crust on all sides.  Chill (if desired).

Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool for a little bit.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest, juice, and flour.  Pour over the crust and bake for about 35 minutes.  Allow the bars to cool.  Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Come back tomorrow for some decor ideas for your race day party!

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2 thoughts on “Race Day Week: Lemon Bars

  1. Pingback: Race Day Week: Decor Ideas « The Domestic Librarian

  2. Craig and I love everything lemon, especially lemon bars. I always use real lemons in my recipe too. I’d love to give this recipe a try!

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