I’m your pusher: Lemon bars


“You should take advantage of the weak,” he said.

I have been making lemon bars all my baking life. They are easy and thus became like second nature. But then, I started making them for my ex-love when we moved in together in Iceland. The first time I made them, he loved them. And I was never able to make them turn out properly again. I don’t know what the problem was, but the filling refused to cooperate. It would not thicken properly. To this day, I have no theories to explain where I had gone wrong. Eventually I stopped trying.

First attempt here in Sweden, many years after removing these gems from my baking repertoire, they worked out perfectly. This augurs well for the future of lemon bars in my kitchen.

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C

2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter

Combine base ingredients until crumbly. Press mix into an ungreased 13×9 inch pan (or into individual muffin tins, buttered). Bake until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes for the pan version; perhaps less for muffin version)

Reduce oven temperature to 350F/175C after removing the base

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients except lemon juice. Blend well. Stir in ¼ c. lemon juice. Pour filling over warm base, return to oven, bake at 350°F for another 25-30 minutes. Cool one hour before glazing or slicing.

(glaze, if desired) 1 c. powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine 1 c. powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired consistency (only if desired. I never make this).

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