Pink Lemon Bars
Yeah... you read that right.
Also... HI! Long time no see.
So... listen... I've been busy?
Like, super busy.
I had another baby or two, started another business or two and moved across the country.
But I want to share recipes again because that was fun, right?
So here I am coming in hot with a really fun and freakishly delicious recipe.
Hope you love it.
A few tips before we get to the recipe:
1. First and foremost these are NOT pink lemonade bars. The title is not a typo. I literally found PINK LEMONS and about keeled over and died right there in the grocery store. The outside of the lemons are still yellow but they also have these green stripes running the length of the lemon. When you cut them in half... that's when the magic happens. BECAUSE I KID YOU NOT THEY ARE FREAKING PINK INSIDE.
If you cannot find pink lemons in your store, no worries - these will still taste phenomenal. Yours just won't have that lovely peachy pink hue. They will be a super happy bright yellow instead. BUT if you have your heart really set on pink lemon bars you could always add a couple drops of pink food coloring and you will probably achieve a similar color. While I was making these, the eggs turned my pink lemon custard into a pinkish orangey color. I added one drop of pink food coloring and was able to bring these back to the original pink color I was hoping for so I imagine you could achieve a similar color as well with a few more drops of food coloring if you're into that sort of thing.
2. I baked mine in an 8x8 baking dish because I prefer for my bars to be thick. It is like the perfect ratio of shortbread to custard for me, but if you prefer thinner lemon bars, bake yours in a 9x13 and reduce the baking time once you add the custard layer. Watch closely because the custard can burn quickly. If yours does get a few toasty spots on top - no worries. The sprinkling of powdered sugar on top will take care of that!
3. Speaking of baking dishes - I recommend baking these in a glass pan. I've noticed with a lot of citrus recipes, baking them in metal pans can give the custard a slight metallic taste.
4. I STRONGLY recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice for these. I wouldn't even bother making them if you aren't prepared to squeeze your own lemons! It really doesn't take that many lemons or that much time. I use and love juicers like this because it keeps the seeds out of the juice and it's easy to measure as you go. But I've also used handheld juicers like this and they are a great option!
5. Fresh lemon zest is listed as optional in the ingredients. It's not optional. It really takes these over the top if you love a good lemon flavor! Make sure to zest your lemon BEFORE you juice it. Don't deprive yourself of any of that sweet sweet zest. I have this zester and use it ALL. THE. TIME.
Pink Lemon Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Yield: 9-12 bars depending on how you slice them
Description: The perfect balance of sweet and tart on top of a buttery shortbread crust.
1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pink Lemon Curd Filling:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup freshly squeezed pink lemon juice (I used 3 lemons)*
Zest from one lemon - optional (but not optional. It makes them SOOO GOOD!)
1 drop of pink food coloring (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add softened butter and sugar to the bowl of your electric mixer. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add flour and salt. Mix until just combined and no dry patches of flour remain. Press into a greased 8x8 glass baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Pink Lemon Curd Filling:
While the crust is baking, add the sugar and flour into a medium sized bowl and whisk until no clumps of flour remain. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and 1 drop of pink food coloring (if desired) to bring the pink color back to the mixture.
Do not pour this mixture onto a HOT crust. Make sure you have given the crust about 10 minutes to cool down before you carefully pour this mixture on top. Pouring onto a hot crust could break up the delicate shortbread and you could get bits of shortbread in your curd filling.
Allow to come to room temperature for about an hour and then store in the fridge for at least 2 hours. It gives them time to really set up and they are delicious served cold! Cut into either 9 (large bars) or 12 and dust with powdered sugar.
*It's hard to tell you how many lemons you'll need exactly because lemons have differing amounts of juice within them. I would buy at least 4 or 5 just in case!
Missed you guys. Like, super ultra big time.