Sebastian’s New Year’s Lemon Bars
First, I just have to say thank you. Your comments on yesterday’s post dragged me out of a funk, inspired me, and made me sense a web of unseen support out there on the internets. And what a wonderful feeling that is. I can’t quite thank you enough. And now, for the lemon bars…
Last year we dutifully ate our black eyed peas, and where did that get us? So this year Sebastian and I revisited one of our favorite New Year’s Day: we did absolutely nothing, all day, ate brunch just as the sun was going down, and enjoyed these cold lemon bars in a warm apartment.
This is Sebastian’s recipe and he has no idea where it originally came from. All we know is that it is now copied in a cartoonist’s handwriting on a weathered index card, and they come out perfect each and every time. The crust is buttery, flaky, and rich, the lemon layer sweet and brightly puckery at once, the perfect marriage of opposites.
These make quite a few lemon bars, which I would encourage you to give away to your friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Otherwise you will be visiting the fridge upwards of twice a day, cutting out little squares of lemony goodness, trying to dispose of these lovelies before your new year detox begins. Which is what I was doing.
Sebastian’s New Year Lemon Bars
makes 3-4 dozen
for the dough
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
for the lemon filling
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for sprinking on top
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, mix ingredients for the dough and pack into an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
In another mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly. Add sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into egg mixture and beat. Pour over dough layer as soon as it comes out from the oven.
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake another 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cool, and then cut into squares.