These are fantastic! Not much of a lemon bar fan? Give these a go.
The crust is simple and is made with the delightful addition of wheat germ. Confectioners sugar keeps it light and sweet.
Cold butter is cut in with a pastry blender. I find cutting a whole bar of butter (cold!) into thirds lengthwise and then flipping it and cutting into thirds again lengthwise before cutting it into tablespoons helps make quick work of working it in to the dry ingredients. Does that make any sense at all? Perhaps a blurry photo will help?
The crust mixture is pressed on the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased, unlined baking pan. I know! I was worried too, but fret not, the bars will come out without incident.
These bars are made with limes in addition to the lemon. Both fruits are zested and juiced. This is one of my favorite things to do in baking – zesting citrus fruit. The smell, of course, is lovely but I also like the look of the zest, watching the almost imperceptible sprays of juice explode from the peel, and hearing the “zwith, zwith, zwith” sound the fruit makes against the microplane.
The juice and zest are combined with eggs, sugar, and some flour.
This is poured over the crust, which has already baked and cooled.
The filling then bakes… and cools…
And the top is sprinkled with confectioners sugar before the bars are sliced and removed from the pan. I had a little trouble getting clean slices – wiping off the knife completely in between cuts with a warm, damp towel helped immensely.
The flavor is very subtle but still has that lemony tang. The crisp, tender crust provides most of the sweetness and is a perfect match for the creamy, tart filling. Adding orange zest to the lemon and lime would be a nice twist to these, but do not think for a minute these bars need any improvement – they are perfect in every way. The best lemon bar I’ve ever tasted.