Isn’t any time of year a great time for a vibrant and refreshing lemon dessert? One of the great things about lemons is that the majority of the year I’m able to find good ones at the grocery store. They are a longer lasting fruit so they aren’t like berries where you have to use them within a few days or they go bad (you know, those tart, mushy, lifeless berries you are so sad to see when you open your refrigerator and realized you forgot to use them). Lemons are much more forgiving. I store in them in my fridge for a few weeks and they still taste fresh. And what is one of the first things you think to make when life hands you lemons? Lemon cream pie of course. This time around it’s in a more modern bar form that everyone is going to find hard to resist. Forget a round pie, bars are the new “it” thing.
For these I used salted butter in my crust, I like how it balances out the sweetness and any light bitterness or sourness from filling (use butter that has 100g of sodium per serving or less). Occasionally I prefer to use salted butter rather than adding in salt on my own because it seems to blend better. Like with these, the salt wouldn’t really have a chance to dissolve and blend in if I added it on it’s own, and it would seem overpowering. If you really want to though, feel free to use unsalted butter.
These creamy bars are loaded with fresh lemon flavor and they are so easy to make. They really do just melt in your mouth. I love the scent that filled my kitchen making these with all the fresh lemon aroma while zesting, juicing and baking. It makes it hard to be patient for the few hours of cooling they have. These are definitely worth waiting for though. Enjoy!
Side note: this recipe only uses egg yolks, so don’t toss out those egg whites, use them and make one of these recipes here.
Lemon Cream Pie Bars
- 1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (from 11 1/2 full sheets)
- 7 Tbsp butter , melted (I used salted)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 - 3 Tbsp granulated sugar , to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and granulated sugar until mixture is evenly moistened. Press mixture into an even layer in prepared baking dish. Bake 11 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
(Once crust has cooled) To a large mixing bowl add, sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream, egg yolks, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk mixture until well blended. Pour into cooled crust and bake (still in preheated 350 degree oven), 28 - 30 minutes, or until edges appear set and middle still slightly jiggles. Cool at room temperature 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill 3 - 4 hours, until set. Cut into bars and top with whipped cream just before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
For the topping:
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer (or using stand mixer), whip heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator, use within several hours of preparing.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy