I’ve been having a hard time at work lately so it was very fitting when a colleague gave me a bag full of lemons, picked directly from his tree. Now, in his defense, he was just being a nice guy. He had no idea that I was feeling down lately or that this feeling was because of my day job.
However, upon receiving said bag, I knew it was a metaphor for my current work life. I had to do something really special with these lemons in order to show myself that I could overcome what was going on. Knowing that no one could ever go wrong by juicing lemons and adding tons of sugar and baking it, I set out to find a great lemon bar recipe.
Ina Garten to the rescue! I love Ina. She doesn’t tout her love of butter like other formerly well known chefs, but she doesn’t apologize for using butter, sugar or anything else that might be construed as bad for you. She also loves all things fresh – like my lemons!
Her recipe was satisfyingly simple, and made me feel really good after having accomplished it. It made everything better in my day job….. OK, not really, but at least I knew I could make an amazing lemon curd, bake it into a short bread crust, and make friends and family happy! Isn’t that all we need sometimes?
Enjoy Ina’s recipe!
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 extra large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4-6 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and sale and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press into a 9 by 13 by 2 inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2 inch edge on all sides. Chill.
- Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
- For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
- Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners sugar.