Classic Lemon Bars
I prefer these when they are done to the nines rather than small and modest, lady’s tea squares variety. I like bold bars, racing with extra lemon bite, bigger than usual, and in this case, with a secretive layer of raspberry preserves bridging the shortbread cookie base with its tangy topping. If you do not have citric acid (although it is easily available in kosher food sections or at the pharmacy), the bars are still quite wonderful, but less tangy, without it.
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced
2 cups sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon lemon oil, optional
½ teaspoon citric acid (1/4 for less lemony bite)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons all purpose flour
½ cup raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 8 by 11 inch rectangular baking pan with non- stick cooking spray. You can also use a 9 by 9 inch square pan.
For the shortbread bottom, cream or blend the butter, flour, baking powder, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and salt until a soft dough forms. Press evenly into prepared pan. Chill ten minutes.
Bake 15 minutes, then cool briefly.
For lemon topping, in a medium bowl, blend the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon oil, citric acid, baking powder and flour well with a whisk. Spread raspberry preserves evenly over pre-baked cookie bottom. Pour lemon topping on top of preserves.
Place pan on a cookie sheet. Bake until topping is set, about 35-45 minutes, reducing oven temperature to 325 F midway.
Cool well about 30 minutes then refrigerate a few hours before cutting.