Its hard to imagine, but not every dessert has to include chocolate. Tart and creamy, these lemon bars totally hit the spot today. I used the juice of seven average-size lemons for this (enough to make a cup), along with most of the zest (a very generous 2 tablespoons) -- it's a lot of flavor. The lemon curd bakes on the par-baked crust, and then all you have to do is (patiently) wait til the bars cool.
(based on the Barefoot Contessa)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 c flour
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 tsp lemon zest
3 c sugar
zest of the lemons (at least 2 Tbs, more if you want extra flavor)
1 c fresh lemon juice (4-8 lemons, depending)
1 c flour
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting on top
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until light, and then add the flour, salt, and zest til just mixed. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten slightly, and then press into a 9x13-inch pan (I like to line mine with foil, for easier cleanup).
3. Bake crust until light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together the five filling ingredients. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 minutes or so, til the filling is set. Remove from the oven and cool. Then dust with confectioner's sugar and slice.
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