Baked Lemonade – Tasty Tuesday!

Mister Man and my husband went camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend, so Little Miss and I were left to our own devices.  We had plenty of fun, but Little Miss wanted to spend part of our time alone baking something special for the two missing pieces of our family.  Apparently I’ve already imparted my gift to her that food is a way to show love.

After debating a number of options, we narrowed down our choices to ones that we could easily make dairy free, which left out truffles and some of the puddings she really wanted to make.  Given that it’s really turning into summer (although Thursday – high of 57 degrees), I didn’t want anything heavy or too rich.  I also leaned away from cookies so that we could spend less time on the baking since we had some other tasks we wanted to accomplish together.

Finally, we decided on lemon bars.  But after tasting the lemon bars we’d made, Little Miss announced that they weren’t lemon bars at all but instead baked lemonade.  I loved that description, so I’m keeping the name for my lemon bars.  She was proud to help, so she definitely deserves some credit in the naming.

Lemon bar on a plate

Baked Lemonade (aka Lemon Bars)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 c flour, split
1/2 c powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
3/4 t salt
12 T butter (or coconut oil in my case)
6 eggs
1 generous c lemon juice
2 1/2 c sugar

Directions:
Bake the crust first.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the sides only of a 9×11 baking dish.

Combine the flour, salt, and 1/2 c powdered sugar in a bowl.  Once it is well mixed, add the butter, cut into chunks.  Make sure the butter is cold, as you want to form dry lumps like streusel, not have it melt and turn into a true dough.  Beat on low until you have pea size chunks.

Beat until pea size clumps form

Pour into your baking dish.  Spread it out into an even layer with your fingers, then gently press the crust to form a smooth surface.

Press dough into the pan with your fingers

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden.  If you’re using coconut oil, beware that it doesn’t change color quite the same way it will if you use butter.  Let it cool fully to room temperature while you make the filling.

Bring your oven to 325 degrees for the second bake.

Add your eggs to the bowl, and begin to beat.  Once they are incorporated, slowly begin to add the sugar so that it is absorbed as it’s being added.  This will help create a lighter filling.  Once it’s smooth, go ahead and stir in the lemon juice, again adding it slowly while you mix on a lower speed.  Add the last 3/4 c of flour and use a spatula to stir until it is just incorporated.

Little Miss adding the sugar while beating

Pour atop your fully cooled crust.  Personally, when I have a liquid filling like this, I prefer to have my baking dish sitting on the rack in my oven with the rack pulled out and pour it into the crust there so I don’t have to carry it and potentially spill it.

Bake for 40 minutes until the filling has just started to set at the edges.  Check this by gently shaking the pan as it sits in the oven.  If it jiggles, but there’s no liquid visible, it’s starting to set.  If it’s fairly solid, it’s completely set and take it out.  Turn your oven off at that point and leave it in for another 20 minutes.

Lemon bars ready to chill

Remove from the oven once the filling has fully set.  Let it cool to room temperature, then place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours before cutting.  Once it’s chilled, dust it with powdered sugar.

Little Miss adding powdered sugar

This will store in the fridge for 3-5 days.  Be sure to keep it covered so that it doesn’t dry out.



Baked Lemonade

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 35 bars

Baked Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 c flour, divided
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 12 T butter (or coconut oil in my case)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 generous c lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 c sugar

Instructions

  1. Bake the crust first. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides only of a 9x11 baking dish.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and 1/2 c powdered sugar in a bowl. Once it is well mixed, add the butter, cut into chunks. Make sure the butter is cold, as you want to form dry lumps like streusel, not have it melt and turn into a true dough. Beat on low until you have pea size chunks.
  3. Pour into your baking dish. Spread it out into an even layer with your fingers, then gently press the crust to form a smooth surface.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. If you're using coconut oil, beware that it doesn't change color quite the same way it will if you use butter. Let it cool fully to room temperature while you make the filling.
  5. Bring your oven to 325 degrees for the second bake.
  6. Add your eggs to the bowl, and begin to beat. Once they are incorporated, slowly begin to add the sugar so that it is absorbed as it's being added. This will help create a lighter filling. Once it's smooth, go ahead and stir in the lemon juice, again adding it slowly while you mix on a lower speed. Add the last 3/4 c of flour and use a spatula to stir until it is just incorporated.
  7. Pour atop your fully cooled crust. Personally, when I have a liquid filling like this, I prefer to have my baking dish sitting on the rack in my oven with the rack pulled out and pour it into the crust there so I don't have to carry it and potentially spill it.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes until the filling has just started to set at the edges. Check this by gently shaking the pan as it sits in the oven. If it jiggles, but there's no liquid visible, it's starting to set. If it's fairly solid, it's completely set and take it out. Turn your oven off at that point and leave it in for another 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven once the filling has fully set. Let it cool to room temperature, then place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours before cutting. Once it's chilled, dust it with powdered sugar.
  10. This will store in the fridge for 3-5 days. Be sure to keep it covered so that it doesn't dry out.
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Comments

  1. I love anything ‘lemon’. Your recipe looks yummy. Plus you had a lot of fun with your girl.

  2. Lemon bars are my husband’s favorite dessert. I will be making these very soon.

    • I’m picky… I only like some because I don’t like them overly sweet or chemical tasting. These were good. I loved the bite I got from the bottom crust, too. Hope he enjoyed them!

  3. That looks and sounds DELICIOUS!!

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