In celebration of the beginning of strawberry season here in the Pacific Northwest, I made these strawberry lemonade bars last weekend (proof that I’ll take any excuse to bake!) They’re bright, summery, and just the right balance of sweet and tart. Oh, and of course my main requirement for any baked good: they’re yummy. Be prepared to use some elbow grease, as these use a lot of fresh lemon juice. It’s worth it, though, I promise!
What’s your favorite summer dessert?
(photo by me)
Strawberry Lemonade Bars
Adapted from Baking Bites
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice (Amy’s note: I used an entire 3 lb. bag of small lemons to get a cup of juice)
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
2. Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.
3. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth. Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard – nothing to worry about).
4. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices. Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day.
Makes 24 bars