Summer is upon us! And there’s nothing I crave more in summer than citrus. Cherry limeades, orange sherbet, key lime pie, and extra lemon-y sweet tea! There’s something about citrus that is so light and refreshing when the temps start to climb! So for lake weekends, porch sitting, and summer company, I go to these lemon bars every time! The bright, tart, lemon-y filling bakes on top of the most delightful shortbread crust! Double the recipe for a crowd, or make a single pan for you and your people! They make ahead, freeze well, and thaw quickly for faster devouring!
The recipe for these Loverly Lemon Bars is from my cookbook Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give that I wrote with hopes of encouraging you to make and share food — by gathering people in your homes around your tables or by giving food to folks to show them they’re cared for! And there’s no better time than summer to invite folks over to sit in the yard and watch kids play in the sprinklers and enjoy a yummy dessert!
In addition to this lemon bar recipe, there are several other recipes in the cookbook that I love to serve in summertime including Gran’s Strawberry Cake, Sheet Pan Banana Cake, and a chilled Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Pie that will knock your socks off! And I can’t go without giving an honorable mention to Euna Mae’s Fried “Peach” Pies because, served with good ice cream, they’re a perfect warm weather treat!
LOVERLY LEMON BARS
Makes 24 squares
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling
Pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs plus one yolk
Zest of 4 lemons
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
Set the oven to 350F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar. Add the pinch of salt, the zest, and the flour one cup at a time. Mix just until combined and still craggly. Pour the crumbly dough into a prepared 9×13 pan or a quarter sheet pan. Use your hands to break up the dough into loose clumps and arrange the clumps around the pan. Then lay a piece of parchment over the pan, and use your hands to press and spread the dough around to fill the pan. Press down well and make it as smooth as possible. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes before baking for 20 minutes or until they’re golden. Remove from the oven; set aside. Turn the oven to 325F. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest, and lemon juice. Carefully pour the lemony liquid over the crust. Bake for an additional 25-28 minutes or until the lemon custard is set. There will be small bubbles in the top of the crust. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Dust tops with sifted powdered sugar in the pan. Cut squares with a sharp, wet knife, cleaning any custard or crumbs off of the knife before each next cut.
This is an excerpt from Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give by Amy Nelson Hannon, a cookbook that encourages you to embrace hospitality so you can enjoy the life that happens when you make and serve food to your people. For more delicious recipes from Amy, grab your copy of Love Welcome Serve today!
Amy Nelson Hannon is the owner of Euna Mae’s, a one-of-a-kind kitchen boutique that not only is a special place to locals but has quickly become a destination shop for many around the country. In addition to her kitchen shop, Amy is the chief manager of an expansive platform that includes a cooking show on Northwest Arkansas’ NBC affiliate, a food blog, partnerships with national brands, and an engaging social media. Her infectious personality and hospitality message are influencing homes from coast to coast.
Remember that Mary & Martha has beautiful pieces to help love, welcome, and serve in your own homes — like our Fresh Joy Dessert Plate, and the Simply Elegant Desert Pedestal. A summer fruit salad would look beautiful in this large enamelware salad bowl and server set too.