Is there anyone that doesn't love a lemon bar? I distinctly remember my first lemon bar, I was all of about five years old and standing with my dad in line at the coffee counter of a book store. At that height I was eye level with a pile of sun yellow lemon bars covered in fluffy powdered sugar...my little heart wanted one! I remember biting into it and being sprinkled with the powdered sugar like fairy dust. Needless to say it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that lead me to create a batch of these...
My aunt asked me to make lemon bars a few weeks ago and since I knew there would be champagne involved in our afternoon together I thought "why not pair the lemon bars with the champagne and add a little raspberry?' I took my regular lemon bar recipe, gave it a new twist and let me tell ya it was suuuch a good idea!
With the delicate raspberry and refreshing lemon these are the perfect way to welcome in spring. Enjoy, recipe and more pictures after the jump!
Here's the recipe, simple and delicious!
-1 stick butter
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp vanilla
-2 cups flour (scant)
-4 eggs (room temp)
-2 cups sugar
-2/3 cups lemon juice
-5 tbs lemon zest
-1/3 cup raspberry preserves
-1/2 cup flour scant (just shy of 1/2)
-6 drops red food coloring (optional)
-powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 350
For crust: beat butter and powdered sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add to butter mixture. Dough will be sand like, don't worry. Press into 9"x13" or tart pan. I love using a tart pan for this especially for parties or birthdays. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes then allow to cool while preparing filling.
For filling: Beat eggs and sugar until pale. Add lemon juice, zest, raspberry preserves, and food coloring. Slowly add flour beating steadily to avoid lumps. Pour over cooling crust and bake for 20 minutes.
Let the lemon bars cool for at least 20-30 minutes then dust with powdered sugar using a fine sifter. Then cut and enjoy!
Tips: When zesting lemon avoid the white pith, this will give your bars a nice pucker but avoid any bitterness. You can dust with powdered sugar. I don't because I hate taking a bite to find powdered sugar all over my clothes and too much can make the bars overly sweet.