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The lemon bars of your dreams take just 15 minutes of prep: Stir together a mere three ingredients to create a sunny, puckery filling for a buttery shortbread crust.

Source: Everyday Food, June 2008
Total Time Prep Yield



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How would you rate this recipe?
    14 JUL, 2019
    Great recipe!! I just lower the butter to half.
  • rebeccaeveland
    10 JUN, 2019
    Having read at least 3/4 of reviews posted, I'm surprised at the difficulties encountered. For those who have yet to try this recipe, please know that it is do-able and the end product tastes great. I'm a very experienced baker, so would offer the following in order to avoid failures, as a number did, after exclaiming, "I did everything right!" 1. Use "unsalted butter" only. 2. Don't forget the salt. 3. The recipe calls for 4 large egg YOLKS. That means you can save the whites for another recipe or ditch them. Separate the eggs minutes before use and make sure they're at room temp. 4. Yes, it really is 3/4 cup FRESH lemon juice. Please, for the sake of the end product, do not add food coloring, lemon extract or bottled "lemon juice." Also, be sure to strain the juice, before using. 5. 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar. Make sure not to substitute granulated or caster sugar for confectioner's or you'll be in a world of hurt. 6. 1-14 oz can of SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK - NOT evaporated milk. One is not interchangeable with the other. As with one poster, I had to bake my shortbread crust longer than indicated: just keep an eye out for golden brown color and don't forget to pierce many times with a sharp fork prior to baking. This dough is soft and not easy to work with because of that. Next time I make these, I'm going to chill it for 20 minutes for easier handling when pressing into the pan. I had absolutely no issue with the custard setting. Check on it 5 minutes prior to the time indicated on the recipe: open oven door, shake pan and look for a wiggle in the middle of the pan. If the entire custard contents wiggle, then it will need to bake beyond the regular time. When I checked mine 5 minuted prior to my timer going off, the custard was perfect, so I removed it from the oven. Since this was rather later in the day, it was allowed to cool down, then loosely covered with plastic wrap. I say loosely, because I didn't want condensation to develop on the inside of the plastic wrap (or foil) and drip down onto top of the pan of goodness. Now I was met by the only issue encountered: removal. I followed the directions to a T, but after having run a paring knife around the outside margin and attempting to gently lift the parchment, the paper started to cut through the pan of lemon bars. So, this technique for me failed miserably. I've never experienced such a failure, but do know that it was probably due to the lemon custard leaching down on the sides just enough to mingle with the side of the shortbread cookie base to cause an immovable mess, even though I had slid a paring knife around all edges. Next time I will use brown parchment paper on all sides and make darts in each corner. P.S. Over the years I've used several different recipes for Lemon bars: they've all been "messy" to eat. This one appeared to be one that could be served without a guest ending up with a sticky mess all over one hand and I was right. Will I make this again? Yes. Was it tasted by others? Yes, husband and daughter (41), and 10 ladies at a meeting this morning and they all raved about the bar. Con: As stated, my issue in removing the bars from the pan (and I have a great pan) - huge disappointment. I was so keen to lift this out and use my cleaver to make nice, clean cuts. Ended up using that same paring knife and my small off-set spatula to lift them out of the pan.
  • aamberambe7265207
    25 AUG, 2018
    Didn’t say how long and what temperature.
    • dyannroseberry5
      6 JUN, 2019
      read it again....its in there....paragraph 2
  • VegasJordan
    4 JUN, 2018
    Best lemon bars ever!
  • WriterToronto
    20 SEP, 2013
    These squares were a big hit in my household. They turned out perfectly. For an added lemony flavour, I added the zest from two of the lemons. Delicious!
    • JiaTigerLily
      28 JUN, 2017
      I'm definitely using the zest as well 🍋
  • mngiavasisgmai
    3 APR, 2016
    I've made these twice, and they are delicious! I think those finding that the filling won't set would see that it will firm up nicely in the fridge after baking. As a side note, a friend of mine commented on the first batch, "I want to eat an entire pan, but they're so tart." For my second batch, I used 1/2 a cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup pineapple juice. This cut down on the tartness a bit. The nice lemon flavor is there, but if you find these a little too tart, give the pineapple juice a go!
  • saralynn830
    21 AUG, 2015
    Just finished and it doesn't look set. Saw some of the comments about this and it would be really helpful to see a picture of what is is supposed to look like as set inside the oven or if it just needs to cool in the fridge. Cranked up the oven a bit and will cook a few minutes longer with my eye on it to see if that helps.
  • Liebelle
    30 JUL, 2015
    This are DELICIOUS! My husband didn't like them that much, but I love them. More for me to eat. :)
  • JuliaFalk
    6 JUN, 2015
    I made these yesterday, followed the recipe exactly, and they were perfect, taste, texture, colour, everything. Ignore all negative comments, just follow the directions, no deviating! I recommend using free-range eggs ( darker yolks will produce desired lemon yellow colour) and if you can find meyer lemons ( I'm lucky to have a tree ) they are much juicier, you'll probably need less then 3 ( I used 2 1/2 for the 3/4 cup )
  • MS12114374
    15 MAY, 2015
    Baked these tonight - just devoured 3 melt in your mouth rich, shortbread lemon oozing bars. Anyone who says these are less than scrumptious perfection . . . didn't follow the recipe properly! High 5s Martha. xxx

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