Delicious lemons bars my way! I made these for my kids when they were growing up and it was definitely one of their favorite desserts. These bars consist of three layers: the crust, cream cheese filling and lastly, a tasty lemon custard.
2 1/2 Cups flour- 2 cups for the crust and 1/2 cup for the filling
1 cup of butter- softened but not melted
3/4 cup powdered sugar- 1/2 cup for filling and 1/4 cup for topping
1 eight ounce package of cream cheese
5 eggs ( 4 of them for the filling and 1 for the cream cheese layer)
2 Cups of granulated sugar
6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice- approximately 4-5 lemons
Tips for perfect bars
- Be extremely careful with flour and sugar measurements in this recipe. The crust is delicate and tender and the filling is a light lemony custard, but even a spoon of too much flour or sugar and the light texture is lost.
- Do not cut bars before cooling or they will melt into a lemony puddle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crust– Place two cups of flour, one cup of softened butter and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix ingredients until butter is well incorporated and a light dough is formed.
First layer- Put one 8 ounce block of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar into a bowl and mix until cream cheese breaks up and sugar is well incorporated. This mixture should appear smooth. Add one egg and continue mixing until a uniform consistency is reached.
Second layer- Place 4 eggs into a mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes, gradually add 2 cups of sugar and continue beating until frothy. Juice 4-5 lemons and pour through a sieve to remove any seeds or unwanted pieces. Measure out 6 tablespoons of juice and add to egg, sugar mixture. Beat until well incorporated and then add 1/2 level cup of flour. Mix, scraping sides of bowl several times.
Putting it all together- Divide crust batter into four portions and place in each corner of 9×13 baking pan. Gently press batter throughout pan until a uniform crust has been formed. Place crust into oven and bake until light golden brown on edges, approximately 22 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool for ten minutes.
Carefully smooth cream cheese mixture over crust with a spoon or rubber spatula. Pour lemon custard over cream cheese layer and tilt the pan if needed to distribute evenly. Place pan in oven on middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Check on lemon bars at this time, when moving the pan no jiggling of batter should occur. Remove from oven to cool.
Place remaining powdered sugar into a sifter and lightly coat top of bars when cool. Cut into squares and remove.