Just like heaven: Lemon raspberry bars


I have written about lemon bars before – and have baked lemon bars since childhood. My mom had a recipe, and I just followed it. As I have written before, it was one of the easiest things one could bake and have it come out impressively. People loved them. But after I had a mishap baking them in Iceland (simply never was able to make them turn out right again), these fell off the list of popular baked goods. I have made them once or twice since living in Sweden but never really felt the happiness and ease about them that I once felt. That original mom-approved recipe had served me well but I recently decided that it had its day. I recognized that the recipe, though nice, just did not produce enough lemony gooey goodness. The lemon was not thick enough to be really … luscious. It sort of seeped into the shortbread crust, and while it still had a nice result, it was not like the lemon curd-ish/lemon meringue pie-like filling one might dream of when grabbing a slab of lemon bar.

ooey gooey lemon raspberry bars

ooey gooey lemon raspberry bars

I also wanted to incorporate a bit of fresh raspberry to please the palate of a raspberry-loving colleague. With the new recipe led to nothing but overflowing, glowing praise. “This tastes just like heaven”. New recipe, fresh start.

lemon raspberry bars - just like heaven

lemon raspberry bars – just like heaven

Lemon raspberry bar recipe
Preheat oven to 175C
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Mix all ingredients and press evenly into a rectangular (approximately 9×13 glass pan). Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Cool about 30 minutes before adding the topping and baking again.

Raspberry puree
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup fresh raspberries
Mix sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice in a saucepan and whisk together. Add raspberries. Cook all over medium heat and whisk constantly until the puree becomes thicker and raspberries start to break down. Strain the mixture and let the strained mix cool. Set aside.

Lemon filling
7 eggs
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup flour
Whisk eggs, sugar, zest and flour together. Gradually add in the lemon juice. Whisk until just combined. Pour over the warm crust. Once settled, add raspberry puree by the tablespoon around the top of the lemon. Swirl the raspberry by using a toothpick along the surface to create swirl. Move pan carefully to oven. Bake 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then cut into squares.


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