I can not go for long without sharing a dessert recipe. Using honey in all of my posts this year of course lends itself to lots of recipes for sweets. One of my goals in publishing honey recipes for twelve months is to substantiate the use of honey in all sorts of recipes. You’ve now seen it used on chicken, ribs, and veggies but now it’s time for LEMON BARS!
I adore the fragrance and flavor of citrus. Orange, lime and lemon all turn me on. Lemon Meringue Pie is my favorite lemon dessert however I wanted to bake something sweet to share with my neighbors. After having been away on a “girls week” trip I wondered if Mr. W was missing my weekly handouts. The honest to goodness reason I “share” is to get some of the “sweets” out of this house. My man Dan likes sweets but not as much as yours truly. You know how it goes, bake a batch of some yummy little something with the intention of your family helping to polish it off. But the majority of that batch of cookies, brownies or lemon bars is always consumed by me. It’s always and I mean always me! Does this happen to you too? I am thankful for neighbors who love a plate of goodies from the Orange Bee kitchen!
I think you’re going to like these bars. You know how lemon bars or the lemon filling can often times have a synthetic taste? These my friends boast a fresh tangy sweetness and are just the right amount of gooey! I am certain it’s using fresh squeezed lemon juice that makes the difference. I know Mr. W liked them. Here is what he texted to me after he’d tried a couple. “What would be the point of living if we didn’t have lemon bars! Yum Yum! Thx again. BTW I’m glad your back I was starting to loose to much weight” Quote-unquote.
Orange Bee Lemon Bars
1 ¾ cup flour
¼ cup cornstarch
2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on bars
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks) chilled
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 ½ tsp. honey
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3-4 large lemons
1/3 cup milk
Pinch of salt
Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil and lightly grease.
Stir together the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt (this can be done in a food processor or in a large bowl by hand). Add the pieces of butter and cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers (be careful not to melt the butter too much or process in the food processor for 8 to 10 seconds and then as needed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer on the bottom and about 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl and then stir in the lemon zest, juice and milk to combine.
Pour the filling onto the warm crust (it’s important that the crust is still warm!) and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the filling feels slightly firm to the touch. Cool the bars to room temperature, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar and cut into bars.