Remember how last week I was thinking about spring? Yeah, neither do I. NYC might get snow tomorrow (!) and we endured a crazy nor'easter last weekend, with driving rain coming in sideways all day Friday (plus moments of wintry mix for good measure) and screaming winds that lasted through Sunday. The storm derailed my girls weekend in NYC and cancelled Doug's trip out of town, so suffice it to say that we didn't have the weekend we had planned.
I was craving sunshine and decided that lemon bars were the best way I could import sun and warmth into my kitchen. I found this recipe from Ina Garden, and as a bonus I had all the necessary ingredients on hand. It's simple and straight forward, and I'm thrilled with how they turned out. The bright, tart flavor was just what I was craving.
Read on for my baker's notes, and I hope you enjoy!
Above: the lemon bars straight out of the oven, starting to cool. Below: after cooling to room temperature and getting a dusting of powdered sugar.
My baker's notes for Lemon Bars:
- Use the best eggs you can get your hands on, preferably something pasture raised. The rich color from the yolks deepens the color of the lemon curd.
- I use a fine mesh sieve to strain out seeds from the lemon juice. It's the easiest, most foolproof method I've come across.
- I was generous with the lemon zest and lemon juice (maybe +10% to what the recipe called for) and I wasn't sorry that I upped the flavor ante (I never am)
- These bars were a beast to get out of the pan cleanly. The recipe says to let cool completely. You should take that one step further and chill in the refrigerator. Learn from my struggle: the bars are much easier to work with straight out of the fridge!
- I used the same mesh sieve to dust the bars with confectioners sugar. It seems like a minor step but it really improves the presentation (the top of the bars isn't much to look at otherwise).