Happy Spring Everyone!
Here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is usually soggy, but this year the first day of spring was dry and sunny. It was such a beautiful day that we had to get out to one of our favorite local parks. While taking advantage of the dry day, we found a lone daffodil standing optimistically over the bark. It was a sweet and bright sign that spring is coming.
Now on the second day of spring, the rain started again, so I started thinking of other things that are bright and remind me of spring, my mind went immediately to lemons. Judging by the things popping up in my Pinterest feed , I am not the only one who thinks of lemons when thinking of spring.
When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars!!
For this post, I want to share with you my new favorite lemon bar recipe. I have tried many different lemon bar recipes over the years. I have tried Martha’s, Ina’s, a lightened up lemon bar recipe I found in Prevention magazine and several others. I know it is sacrilegious to say Martha’s recipe is not my favorite, but I will give Martha the benefit of the doubt; it must have been user error. All of these recipes were good, but not quite what I was looking for.
My dream lemon bar would have a slightly sweet softish crust, a luscious, bright lemony layer and it had to be super easy to prepare. After scrolling through the many, many lemon bar recipes on Pinterest, I found one that met my criteria. I love this recipe, it turns out amazing every time! It has a simple, yet delicious shortbread crust and the lemon layer is bursting with lemon flavor. The best part, it only takes 5 ingredients. You probably already have 4 of the 5 ingredients on hand, you just have to get your fresh lemons!
Here is what you will need to make these delicious lemon bars:
2-3 lemons (zest and juice)
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter (I used unsalted, but I think salted would be fine too).
In the last few weeks, I have made these lemon bars for family dinners, a baby shower, and I always bring home an empty pan. So if you are looking for a lemon bar recipe has a slightly sweet shortbread crust, a lemon layer that is luscious and really lemony and is by far the easiest to make then your search is over!
Here is a link to the lemon bar recipe, I will be using from now on! Super Easy Lemon Bars by Rock Recipes, http://www.rockrecipes.com/super-easy-lemon-bars/ Thank you, Chef Barry Parson, for making the recipe I have been looking for!!!
*I made it with and without parchment paper. I just put a thin layer of butter or coconut oil on the pan to make it easier to remove the bars.
*Pay attention to the different cooking temps in the recipe depending on the kind of pan you are using.
*If you want your crust to be on the crunchier-side, then you will need to bake a bit longer and look for golden brown color to start to appear on the sides and top.
*I have also used a gluten-free one-for-one baking mix to sub for the all- purpose flour. The crust was a little sandier, but still good.
Bonus Recipe: Easy Berry Sauce
This sauce is great on pancakes, shortcake, ice cream, and stirred in to plain yogurt. You can even use it to add a little splash of contrasting color to your lemon bars. It is really simple to make; you only need 3 ingredients: berries, sugar, and a lemon.
You will need:
2 cups of berries of your choice
( I recently made it with blueberries, but it also works with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.)
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
Zest of half or whole lemon
Juice of a half or whole lemon
Note: if you use the juice and zest of the whole lemon, there will be a really pronounced lemon flavor and a little bit of a bite.
Put the berries, sugar, zest and juice of half a lemon in to a sauce pan and turn on medium heat. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down a bit to generate a slow simmer. Simmer until thickened. Usually takes 15-20 minutes. It will get thicker as it cools too. Cool and store in the fridge for a week. My family enjoys the sauce so much that it doesn’t last longer than a week.
Hope you give the lemon bar recipe a try and the berry sauce too. I love that these recipes are simple and taste great!