I have been making some variation of lemon bars since I was a kid. Mostly my mom made them because they are easy and quick. I followed suit, as they are generally a no-fuss crowd-pleaser. But somewhere along the line, the recipe I’d been using all my life stopped working. The filling would never solidify/thicken, so it was like a lemon soup inside while the outer edges were virtually burned. I don’t know why this is – it just didn’t work no matter what I did.
So when I decided to use up a stockpile of pistachios and wanted to move beyond my standard recipes, I thought lemon and pistachio would be a good match. I used the standard shortbread crust I have always used for lemon bars; I searched around for other filling recipes… but oddly, though I found a different one, it’s still basically the same as the one I’ve always used with a reduced amount of sugar, which is probably better. Maybe I just whisked/beat it better than in the past. Or something. There are only so many ways to make lemon filling, right?
The people who ate these raved.
Lemon pistachio bars
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Combine base ingredients until crumbly. Press mix into an ungreased 13×9 inch pan. Bake until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes).
Reduce oven temperature to 160C
4 eggs, well-beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
a pinch of salt
Whisk eggs; add all other ingredients except lemon juice and zest, which should be added last. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.
You can sift powdered sugar on top of the cut bars.