The Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar

Not surprisingly, I am still making my way through the 5 lb. bag of lemons I bought at Costco recently... So even though I briefly entertained the idea of trying out a new gingerbread recipe last night, I made lemon bars instead. My standard recipe is "The Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar" from Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I first found this recipe reprinted on, and I liked it so much that I went out and bought Beranbaum's book as a result.

Beranbaum's commentary that accompanies the recipe notes that baking the crust before the curd topping is added solves the problem of a soggy crust that is often encountered with lemon bars. I agree; the crust never comes out soggy. However, I do think that the ratio of crust to curd is not optimal the way the recipe is written (too much crust to not enough curd). I usually make 1.5 batches of crust and a double batch of curd in a 9 x 13-inch pan of bars. The other thing I consistently find when I make this recipe is that I can never make the curd in 6 minutes as outlined in the recipe (and I do use a candy thermometer). It usually takes me essentially the entire time the crust is baking (about 30 minutes) to make the curd, so I always make sure to have all the curd components ready so that I can start it right away as soon as I put the crust in the oven.

The resulting bar is very puckery (I always add some extra lemon zest to the curd), with a very firmly-set topping (on a non-soggy crust), and it cuts beautifully.

Only a few more lemons to go!

: The Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar from Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum, reprinted on