Sunday, June 7, 2009


When I was about 13, my parents took me to France. We spent much time driving in order to see the sights, which in my teenaged opinion included far too many walled cities. We saw St. Malo, Avignon, Aigue Mortes, Eze, so many more, from the impressive Carcassonne to tiny little towns; it seemed that every where we went was enclosed in medieval fortifications. I complained (possibly loudly and bitterly) about how incredibly sick I was of walled cities. But there was something I did not complain about. Not at all. That inside each walled city, there was inenvitably a patisserie. And my father had a personal mission, which required my personal expertise: to try every available tarte citron (lemon tart) in the search for the very best, most lemony tart in all of France. You see, I come by my love of lemon completely honestly. I live a relatively tart deprived existance these days, but for a real lemon fix, I turn to the source, where my father probably developed his taste for lemon in the first place, my nana's lemon bars.

Nana's Lemon Bars

Base -
1/3 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C butter (although my nana uses margarine, and I had a slight problem with the base being too crumbly and she does not)

Lemony Top -
3 eggs
1 C sugar
1/2 C lemon juice
3 T flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix together the powdered sugar, flour and butter as though you were making a pie crust. It will be very crumbly, sort of like sand. Take a 9x13 pan and line it well with tin foil. Grease it well. Do not skim. Make sure your foil comes up high on the sides, because later, if you get any of the lemon mixture between the foil and pan, it will act as glue, and you will not be happy. Press the crust down into the pan, trying to make sure it is level. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.

Beat together the 3 eggs until lemony. Mix the sugar and flour together and add to the eggs. Add the lemon juice. Mix well and when the crust is done, pour on top. Return to the oven for 25 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with more confectioner's sugar.


Anonymous said...

Darling Carrie, I love lemon. I love you. Am making these today for a family reunion. It starts Friday. Can I freeze these, or do I just need to hide them in the back of the refrigerator until then?

Carrie said...

Aunt Helen -

I have no self-restraint, and have never had the ability to delay gratification by freezing them. My mother thinks in theory it is possible, although she also has never tried.

rainydaylady said...

I post this note as verification that these lemon bars are the very best tasting desert ever to pass the lips of a human being, and, furthermore, that they are so simple to make that even a poor cook can follow these instructions with outstanding success.

In short, these bars rock.


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