When life hands you lemons, what would you make? If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that it’s not such an easy question after all. Anyone who has gone through tough times knows that it is way easier to say ‘lemonade’ than it is to juice your difficult circumstances, toss in some sugar and ice, and then feel like a winner. No, most times I just want to take those lemons and throw them against the wall. Repeatedly. Until they give way, or I do.
So really, when life hands me lemons, what do I do? Well, I first let out a good cry cos I hate them lemons. Then realizing they’re not going to magically disappear however hard I cry, I then dry up my tears and figure how to make the best of them. Lemonade is too predictable, lemon loaf too boring. So I turn to lemon bars to express my experience of life in one bite: a soft, tangy layer of lemon curd atop a crunchy, buttery, shortbread crust. That kinda sums life up doesn’t it? Despite all the loss, grief, and suffering that leaves one with a sour taste in the mouth, life also contains the sweet and the good which forms the solid foundation of our lives. And only in the lemon bar, do we discover that they actually need each other – the sweet buttery crust needs the sour lemony topping and the smooth lemon curd needs the crunchy shortbread. Together, they form a complementary textural and flavour combination. That, my friends, is the genius of the lemon bar.
Philosophical reasons aside, you should make these lemon bars if you want something easy and pretty fail-proof to make. Or if you’re heading into winter season and all you have produce-wise is of the citrus variety. Or if you are looking for an inexpensive dessert to bring to a pot-luck party. Or if you (gasp!) like lemons. Either way, I won’t judge since I made them only because my hubby craved some.
(Adapted from All Recipes)
Yields: One 9″ x 13″ tray
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup lemon juice, 3-4 lemons
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden.
4. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and 1 cup of sugar. Whisk in ¼ cup flour and lemon juice
5. Pour over the baked crust and bake for another 20 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool. The bars will firm up as they cool, and refrigerating them makes them easier to cut later.
7. Dust icing sugar over the top, cut into bars or squares and enjoy!