To get razor-sharp cuts through the curd and crust, use a very sharp knife dipped in warm water. Rewet it every few cuts to maintain ultra-precise edges.

Makes 16 bars


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Lemon filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs


Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 350°. Prepare an 8- x 8- inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil in the bottom of the pan, allowing excess foil to hang over the sides. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles course wet sand. Don't overmix or let mixture come together into a dough.

Firmly press the dough into the bottom of the pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the mixture down. Chill dough in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 300°.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and cornstarch until combined. Add the lemon juice and eggs and whisk until combined. Strain the mixture into a bowl.

Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake 30 minutes more, or until the filing does not jiggle when tapped. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then refrigerate at least 2 hours to set.

Cut the lemon bars into 16 equal squares. Use a small offset spatula to remove them from the pan. Tap a bit of confectioners' sugar through a sieve over the top of the bars. Arrange 5 or so on an oval platter and set on the table. Replenish as necessary. The lemon bars will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

From Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It by Amy Atlas. Copyright © 2012 Amy Atlas and The Stonesong Press, LLC. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

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