"American Taste" Lemon Bars


Last year we threw together a Friday-night English Coffee House event at our church for all of our English students. They enjoyed listening to some live music, mingling and conversing (in Japanese, as much as we had hoped that they might want to take advantage of the English-theme of the night) while drinking freshly brewed coffee and eating these lemon bars. Several students less-than-fluently exclaimed, “This have American taste! Oishii!” I’ll take that as a compliment. This recipe has never let us down with its buttery shortbread bottom and tangy lemony top. It comes from the cookbook Gourmet’s Casual Entertaining.

First, make the shortbread base:

1 1/2 sticks (170g) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Process all ingredients in a food processor (I don’t have one, so I just picked up the bits of butter, and rubbed them with the flour between my fingers) until mixture begins to form small lumps. Sprinkle into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan and press evenly onto bottom with a metal spatula. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes.
  • While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon topping:

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1/3 cup flour

  • Whisk together eggs and sugar in a bowl, then stir in lemon juice and flour.
  • Pour lemon topping over hot shortbread when it comes out of the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees (150 C) and bake in middle of oven until set, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars.
  • Sift confectioners sugar over bars before serving. These can keep for 3 days, covered and chilled.

I’ll leave you with a current picture of Arius …

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