Thursday, May 19, 2011

Three-Layer Lemon Bars

Three-Layer Lemon Bars - made May 17, 2011 from My Five Men blog, found on Sweets for a Saturday #16

It's time to try another recipe that I saw from Sweets for a Saturday.  I have a list a mile long of recipes I see linked up there every Saturday that I want to try but given I've got my own baking books to go through, I have to limit myself to trying a few here and there.  In the meantime, I bookmark the links, promising myself that I'll go back "someday" to try out all these wonderful-looking concoctions.

I met some friends for lunch and dinner on Wednesday and with both groups, my lemon bars have been a hit in the past.  This time around, I thought I'd try something slightly different for them and use this recipe that Betsy posted.  The picture just looked so good.  The basic ingredients are almost the same as in my recipe but mine doesn't have the glaze on top.  What could it hurt?

The main thing I changed from Betsy's posted recipe (click on the title at the top to go to the original recipe on her blog) was I baked the crust at 325 degrees instead of 300.  At 300 degrees, in the first 10 minutes of baking the crust, it seemed like the butter in the crust was only melting, not baking so I raised the oven temp slightly. During the baking with the filling, I lowered it to 315 for the first 20 minutes then back down to 300 for the last 20.  These got a little crusty and brown on top so it might've been better to stick with 300 degrees the whole way once the filling was added.  My glaze isn't showing up as white as Betsy's and that could be because I applied the glaze only a couple of minutes after I took the lemon bars out and they melted into the top.  If you look closely, you can still see the glaze but I think it would look better had they remained more uniformly white.  Next time I would let the bars cool to lukewarm then apply the glaze.

Overall, I really liked the taste of these lemon bars.  The glaze was a sweet offset to the tartness of the lemon filling and I actually liked the crust on top that was enhanced by the glaze to provide a bit of a texture contrast to the lemon filling.  The glaze was great - I like it better than sprinkling powdered sugar on top like most lemon bars have.  The bottom crust could've been baked a bit more before the filling was added so I'm posting how I would adapt this recipe below.  Otherwise this had great flavor.  It probably also helped that my lemons were from my aunt's tree so they were homegrown.  I'm looking forward to the day I can use my own lemons for this recipe.

In any case, I'm very glad I tried this recipe.  This is exactly why I keep trying out new recipes even for desserts I already have perfectly good recipes for.  You never know when you might discover something even better and come up with a new favorite. I want to make this recipe again with my modifications to see if it really is going to usurp my old lemon bar recipe.  I suspect it might.

½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter

4 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon lemon extract

2/3 cup powdered sugar
Lemon juice

1.     To make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Press into greased 9 x 13” baking pan lined with foil.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
2.      To make the filling: Whisk filling ingredients together and carefully pour over hot crust in an even layer.
3.      Bake 40-45 minutes until nicely brown and knife comes out clean when inserted in the center.
4.      To make the glaze: whisk glaze ingredients together.  It should be thin enough to drizzle.  Let lemon bars cool to just a bit warmer than lukewarm.  Spread over bars and let set.  Cool completely before cutting.


  1. Hey thanks for linking back!

    My crust looks like that, too, while it's baking. Just let it bake at 300 and it will be fine! I glaze mine while hot,...just be very gentle and don't touch too much or you'll tear at the bars. The heat melts the sugar, too I think.

    I'm so glad you liked them. They are one of our favorites! They freeze well, too!

  2. These look delicious! I always want to make lemon bars, but I don't want to eat the whole pan by myself.

  3. I have quite the list of recipes bookmarked to make "someday" as well. Wish I could find somewhere to give them away, and I'd make treats more often :) A glaze does sound like a great addition to lemon bars. These look great!