Spring and Summer is a celebration of love and in Today's Home Kitchen, a love of sweets. Decadent chocolates covered in gold dust are fine, but we think pastry love is expressed through pure simplicity. Our Raspberry Lemon Bars are tart, sweet, buttery and rich.
A Fresh Burst of Lemony Flavor-
For years I wondered why so many bakery lemon bars didn't have any, well, lemon flavor. Thin sort of bar cookies with a thin crust and just a hint of lemon flavor. We've got the answer for solving that lemony lacking problem. Lemon Bars are so delicious, it's a wonder they're so simple to prepare with just a few ingredients.Jump to Recipe
Shortbread Crust and Three Burts of Lemon-
The base of our lemon bars is a shortbread crust. Shortbread is simply three ingredients:
- Powdered sugar
- Melted butter
The butter adds rich flavor, the flour structure and the powdered sugar gives the shortbread crust that crumbly, soft texture and sweet flavor. Just press it into a baking pan and the shortbread holds the lemon bar filling.
We add three bursts of lemon flavor to make our lemon bars extra-citrusy:
- Lemon zest
- Fresh lemon juice
- Pure lemon extract
Zest is the outer peel of the lemon and is full of lemon oil. Fresh juice is a must, (the bottled stuff isn't fresh) and we use a trick of pastry chefs, lemon extract. Lemon extract is pure, deeply intense flavored lemon. All you need is a few drops. Fresh raspberries add sweet flavor and berry juice with every bite.
Spring and summer are here and that means we'll turn to ingredients and flavors that signal a new season in our home kitchens. Garnish your lemon bars with whatever fresh fruit is in season.
Raspberry Lemon Bars
Our lemon bar recipe uses three bursts of lemon flavor-lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract for a burst of fresh, clean flavor. We start with a simple to make, buttery shortbread crust then we double the amount of lemon filling over what you'll find in most recipes. Fresh raspberries add sweet flavor and berry juice. And Raspberry Lemon Bars aren't just for dessert, we like them for breakfast too.
Shortbread Pastry Crust-
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup melted butter
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tsp. minced lemon zest
- 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp. pure lemon extract
- 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup powdered sugar for dusting
- 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
For the Shortbread Pastry Crust-
Heat the oven to 350 . In a bowl combine the flour, powdered sugar and melted butter and stir to combine. Using your fingers, pat the dough into the bottom of an 8”x8” square baking pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork to keep the crust from rising in the oven.
Bake until the crust just starts to brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
For the Lemon Filling-
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and extract. Beat the mixture on low speed until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add it to the lemon mixture. Continue to beat until the lemon filling is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour the lemon mixture on top of the pre-baked pastry crust and return to the oven. Bake for 23-25 minutes until the lemon filling is set. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Cover the baking pan with cling film and chill in the refrigerator until the lemon bars are chilled and set, 2-3 hours.
Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and cut into six bars. Dust with powdered sugar and top each lemon bar with some of the fresh raspberries.
These lemon bars are good without berries, but you can also top them with fresh blackberries, strawberries or blueberries. Keep them covered in the fridge to stay chilled then bring them to room temperature about 20 minutes before cutting into bars. Also good served with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.