The hubs loves lemon desserts, so I made some for his birthday.

Heads up: My process for a fast and easy crust requires a food processor.

Also, we tend to like things on the slightly less sweet side, so you could add up to 1/3 cup more sugar without affecting the result.

If you don’t have a tart pan, you can use a baking sheet or dish with a similar surface area. Great thing about bars is that, even though they are baked, they’re not super exacting. 😉

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.


  1. For the Crust:
  2. 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, each stick cut into 1/2" cubes (keep refrigerated until you put in food processor)
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. For the Filling:
  7. 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature (or 6 large)
  8. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  9. 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
  10. 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  11. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  12. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  13. Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. For the crust, put flour, sugar, and salt in food processor bowl and give it 6 or 7 quick pulses to aerate and evenly distribute all ingredients.

    Then add cold butter cubes straight out of the fridge, distributing them evenly over the dry mixture. Pulse food processor a few times to get everything started, then turn processor on and let the whole mixture go until almost all of it is formed into a ball. (I say *almost* all because you invariably have crumbs that don’t attach.)

  3. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 12-inch tart pan, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Prick the crust in several spots with a fork, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

  5. For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour until all sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

    Pour into the crust, until it reaches *just* under the top of the edge (you may have a little left over) and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set.

  6. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into triangles or squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


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