Make Ahead

The Tangiest Lemon Bars

November 17, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 20
Author Notes

My mom and I had the pleasure of attending a class by Alice Medrich. Of course she made one scrumptous dessert after another. We left her class so excited to try what was demonstrated. I also purchased her beautiful cookbook, Pure Desserts. The following recipe is adapted from Alice's book. I used organic lemons, since I live in Michigan without Meyer lemons! —ashleychasesdinner

What You'll Need
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all- purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all- purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest- use organic lemons for the best flavor, may also use Meyer lemons
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice from organic lemon
  • powered sugar for dusting if you desire
  1. To make the crust: In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix just intil incorporated.
  2. Press the dough into the bottom of a 8- inch square baking pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Should be browned around the edges, and golden in the center.
  4. To make the topping: In a bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Mix well. Whisk in the eggs.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  6. Take the baked crust from the oven, and reduce heat to 300 degrees.
  7. Pour the mixture onto the hot crust.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the middle no longer jiggles when the pan is tapped.
  9. Take out of oven and cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, take a sharp knife and cut into sqares. Dust with powered sugar if desired.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hiromi Motojima
    Hiromi Motojima
  • drbabs
  • ashleychasesdinner
  • Pat E. in SLO
    Pat E. in SLO
One constant in my life is food. I love to cook, eat and learn new things about food. I grew up in a family who had the philosophy that the kitchen was the heart of the home. My southern mom and grandma were amazing cooks who taught me food was more than sustenance, it was soulful. I am always amazed, inspired and genuinely happy to have found such a place as food52 with so many like minded individuals. With inspiration like this to draw from, there is endless oportunity to learn new things!

13 Reviews

Hiromi M. April 15, 2018
Since I have tons of Meyer lemons from our yard, I decided to try this. I used only 1/2 cup of sugar for the lemon curd, but it was perfect. It is so good. Can't imagine using 1 cup of sugar. It would be way too sweet.
I only have 9" pan, so layers are a bit too thin and only took less than 20min to bake. I will have to use a smaller pan next time.
It is very easy to make!
Hiromi M. December 1, 2018
I made this again, but added some lemon zest into the crust. I also used some regular lemons and Meyer lemons. I love the tartness regular lemon juice adds.
I forgot to double the recipe... Again, it is thin when you use 9" pan.
drbabs December 31, 2012
Ashley, I made this for Christmas-- we had a ton of Meyer lemons-- and im making it as a tart tonight. Thanks for a great recipe!
idaz November 21, 2012
Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe! I followed your recipe to the letter and it came out absolutely wonderful! Very easy to make. My husband and both my boys ( ages 16 and 22) loved it! I'm going to make another batch tomorrow.
eaevans March 18, 2012
you REALLY need to grease the pan! the flavor is great.
drbabs December 31, 2012
or line it with parchment-- works great.
elizabethrose January 27, 2012
I did it in jellyroll pan, tripled the crust ingredients plus 1/4 to 1/2 of extra flour to make it crumblier (is that a word?). In addition, I downsized on the sugar in the custard to 2 cups, went up to a full 2 cups on the lemon juice (remember I tripled everything), and added a 1/4 cup of half and half = not too soupy if you only bake for a little over 15 min.
ashleychasesdinner August 25, 2011
Thanks Pat in SoCal for the info on doubling the recipe. I have some lemons on my counter right now, so I may just experiment today since it is a raining afternoon as well!
ashleychasesdinner December 4, 2010
Hi Pat in SoCal,
I haven't doubled this recipe, but I imagine if you are using a bigger pan it could work. Just keep an eye on the bars when cooking, just give the pan a tap and if it no longer jiggles, its good! Or you could double the recipe and cook in two seperate 8 inch square pans.
Whatever you decide, I hope it works out! Enjoy!
nutcakes August 25, 2011
I doubled it and made it in a pan just slightly off from 9x13, but I can't remember the size.
Pat E. December 4, 2010
Have you ever had success doubling this? Do you think it would work in a jellyroll pan or is it too soupy? TIA
ashleychasesdinner November 30, 2010
Thanks drbabs!! I LOVE lemon bars too!
drbabs November 28, 2010
I LOVE lemon bars! You should enter this into the Open House challenge!