Lemon Bars from Ina

I have been making lemon bars for years, but I never expected to find a recipe better than my mother’s. And then I met Ina’s lemon bars. Cow-a-bunga. There is nothing like them. My mother’s called for sweetened condensed milk and a streusel topping. That can get a little frou-frou.

I want a lemon bar that singes the nose hair with its intense lemon flavor. I want Ina’s. Now don’t think it’s easy to make. Kidding. The hardest part is zesting all the lemons. Cramped fingers are us! Her recipes are amazingly simple, but so, so good.

I would love to spend time with her, but it is not going to happen. She lives a life I occasionally envy, but I’m unwilling to give up my treasures to see how she lives. Although those houses, wow!

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with powdered sugar.

*****From the Recipe Box:

These have great lemon flavor and they freeze well.

and remember: I wish it were socially acceptable to throw water balloons at people who annoy me. I don’t want to hurt them, but I do want to ruin their day.

Big kiss, Lynn

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