The thing about shopping at Costco is that it seems like a good idea at the time.
And then, suddenly, there are five pounds of lemon and only one of you.
If you peruse the archives, you’ll see that I often use lemons when I cook. Just not nearly as many as I thought.
In other words, if I didn’t want the five pounds of lemons I had just purchased to go to waste, I was going to have to get creative.
So, lemon bars.
What I like about these is that the lemon curd, with it’s tangy bite, cuts through the richness of the shortbread. I played around with the original recipe, adding vanilla and upping the sugar just slightly in the filling to create a more mellow flavor.
I’ll be making these again soon (3 pounds of lemons left to go!), along with lemon sorbet, lemonade, lemon-vinaigrette….
What I mean to say here is: if you have some suggestions to use up my lemons, post them in the comments.
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For a the layer:
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.
For the crust: Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light in texture. Add in the vanilla extract and combine. Add the flour and salt and turn the mixer onto its lowest setting. Mix until the dough is just combined. It should be shaggy.
Press the dough into your well greased baking dish, creating a half inch edge on all sides. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let it cool and, in the meantime, prepare your lemon layer. Leave the oven on.
For the lemon layer: Using a whisk or mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. When that is combined, add in the flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.