Friday, August 26, 2011

Whole Lemon Bars

When life gives you lemons, make whole lemon bars.  Life didn't give me lemons, I bought them, and then had to use them.  A co-worker of mine had been nagging me about making lemon bars for the last few weeks.  I have never made lemon bars before so I was kinda nervous.  It was actually very easy and super fast!!  I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I was afraid they would be too bitter.  So I did just half of a lemon, then zested the other half, cut off the rind, and put the middle in the food processor.  I think that amount of lemon was perfect!  The other thing that made me nervous was the texture of the lemon mixture.  It is lumpy and just weird in the food processor, but after it bakes, its perfect!  I highly recommend this recipe!

Whole Lemon Bar - Adapted from David Lebovitz
Yield: 8x8 Pan - 16 squares
Crust Ingredients:
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

Lemon Topping Ingredients:
1 Lemon, organic or washed, I used 1/2 and then the zest and inside of the other half
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
4 Teaspoons Corn Starch
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted

Optional: powdered sugar, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Overturn an 8-inch square pan on the counter and wrap the outside snugly with foil, shiny side up. Remove the foil, turn the pan over, and fit the foil into the pan, pressing to nudge the foil into the corners. The smooth it as best you can.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 8 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla, stirring just until smooth.
  4. Smooth the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or a small offset spatula to get it as level as possible.
  5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.
  6. While the crust is cooking, cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds, and cut the lemon into chunks. I only did half a lemon and then with the other half I zested it and put in the middle part, but not the rind.
  7. Put the chunks of lemon in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and lemon juice, and let it run until the lemon is completely broken up. Add the eggs, corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons melted butter, and blend until almost smooth. A few tiny bits of lemon pieces is normal...
  8. When the crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat of the oven to 300. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 18-20 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling and is barely set.  When I took it out of the oven, it looked like cornbread, but i guess that's ok.  It still tastes amazing!
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Once cool, carefully lift out the bars grasping the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles. Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving, if desired.
  10. Enjoy!!
Storage: The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to three days. You can freeze the lemon bars as well for up to one month, letting them come to room temperature before serving.


  1. Oooh YUM! Sounds delish!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Fusion Fridays! Come back next Friday to see my favorites and to link up again!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Looks delish.

    Thanks for sharing with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

  3. I love lemon bars. They're one of my favorite desserts to make and eat - so refreshing. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  4. I have these on my to -do list for this week!

  5. Oh, I love lemon bars. Have to make them asap :)

  6. My grandmother made the best lemon bars! (Don't they all? Ha) Yours look incredible! I'm sure they would go great with coffee in the morning.

  7. Yummy, I love lemon bars. Beautiful pictures. I saw your recipe posted on Turning the Table Thursday, thanks for sharing.

  8. These look great. I'm new to loving lemon and I think I will love these. Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

  9. How cute are these?!?! They look delicious, too :D

  10. Great photo's! Those bars look awesome, sure wish I had one right now. Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. we love lemon bars around here and every time I make a new recipe I think, I'm going to retire an old one...but I never do, we just collect them and use them all from time to time, they are just that much different that we can't commit ourselves to one recipe. It looks like our list just got bit longer.

  12. I think it is fantastic that you use the whole lemon in this recipe - it must make the flavours really pop! Your whole lemon bars look beautiful too. Thank you for sharing them with Let's Do Brunch.

  13. These look delish! Love any thing with a lemon flavor. Have to try them.