Wish Upon A Dish: Lemon Bars Are Creatures of Habit

September 30, 2011

Lemon Bars Are Creatures of Habit

There are so many things I want to make, dishes I have seen, copied and filed away for future use.

If you are like me, the list grows longer then the days in a month and eventually they get downloaded onto a memory stick and stored in a drawer, never to emerge again.

Why is that? Why is that we find ourselves making the same ole recipes over and over again, when we know that list is in that drawer?

Many reasons.

No.1 reason: Something comes up and we need something fast, familiar, tried and true and certainly not the time to try a new recipe.

No.2 reason: We forget to buy an ingredient in the recipe or we just can't find it in a local store.

No.3 reason: Just not in the mood for that dish on that day.


No.4 reason: The same ole dishes are perfect, wonderful and things we crave.

Case in Point....

Ina's Lemon Bars (as are most of Ina's recipes for that matter). Humans are creatures of habit, some worse then others, but just about everyone finds comfort in their habits. The Nudge tells me every year, "Do not change your meatballs or your meatloaf recipe!!"

I think every home cook hears the same thing about many of their comfort dishes.

Lemon Bars are one of my comfort desserts and since I am not a great baker, there aren't too many comfort desserts I can make well. Ina's coffee cake, shortbread cookies and lemon bars I can do really well, so I do them often.

Sure I would love to bake a Seven Layer Double Chocolate Cake with Homemade Chocolate Icing, but THAT ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

Make these for yourself and you will make them over and over again.
Easy, delicious and very comforting.

Lemon Bars courtesy of Ina Garten
Makes 12

For the Crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup palm sugar (do not sub this, subs don't cream like real sugar)
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:
6 extra large eggs, room temperature
3 cups No Calorie sweetener
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2 inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2 inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool to room temperature. Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

If I am not planning on eating them all in a day, I wrap each square in plastic wrap, place them all in a large gallon Zip bag and freeze them. Place one in your brown bag when you make lunch and it will be defrosted in time.

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