Let me introduce you to my new obsession: the luscious lemon bar.I’m obsessed with lemons in general these days: lemon lotion, lemon dish soap, lemon smoothies (gut health!), lemon lemon lemon. It was only natural that these luscious lemon crumb bars entered into my existence.
I’ve fiddled and fiddled with the recipe, from the marvelous Annies-Eats blog, trying to whittle down the sugar and butter and to also use coconut flour. Let me tell you, it took several tries and multiple taste tests (poor me!) but by golly, I think we got it.
Does this luscious dessert still have sugar and butter? Yes. You will have share with your family and friends and not eat the whole thing yourself. As tempting as it is. Like, really is.
Start with lemons! 3-4 large, depending on size. Zest, zest, zest. My zester is a cheese grater so my zest is a little large. I happen to like the little bits, but you could vitamix it or chop into smaller pieces if you prefer. Add lemon zest to 3/4 cup sugar. Mix together Add 4 large eggs and 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. Whisk! Using your double boiler (I make due by putting one heat proof pot on top of another) heat until it becomes a thick lemon pudding. From there you’ll add butter and a mixer. Don’t forget to compost!
For the dough: Sugar, baking powder, all-purpose flour, coconut flour, salt, butter, and egg. Roll 3/4 of the dough into a ball, then roll into a square (or skip this part and just press into pan.) Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil and press the rolled dough into it. Pour lemon pudding onto it, and top with remaining dough mix. Bake at 350, 35-40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, cover, place in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares. So tart, so sweet, so buttery. So good.
Luscious Lemon Crumb Bars
Lemon cream filling:
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Zest of 2 large lemons
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 large lemons)
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup coconut flour (don’t have any? use regular flour)
- Pinch of salt
- 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- To make lemon cream, combine sugar and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl. Whisk in the eggs until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Whisk in the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to form a double boiler. Let the mixture cook, stirring frequently, until the cream thickens (around 175-180˚ F on an instant read thermometer). Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool to 140˚ F (about 10-15 minutes). Once cooled, add butter and whip on medium speed with a hand mixer (or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment) until the mixture is thick and pale, about 3-4 minutes total.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt, and stir together with a fork. Cut in the butter and egg with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized. The mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.
- Spread three-fourths of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust. Pour the lemon cream filling over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the lemon cream.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and the center is just set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Slice and serve. Yum!
Slightly adapted from Annies-Eats, Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars