SRC – Whole Lemon Bars

Its time for Secret Recipe Club again – I love being part of this fun club! My favorite part of the SRC is assignment day – I love when I get that e-mail in my inbox with the link to the blog that I get to choose my recipe from. I also love that all of my assignments have all come from blogs I have never been to before, it’s really a great opportunity to find some fabulous bloggers out there and some delicious recipes. If you are not familiar with exactly how this club works, you can stop by the website and learn all about it – maybe even join in! Basically you are (secretly) assigned a blog to checkout, browse through their recipes, choose one to make and blog about it. It’s a lot of fun!

This month I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme.  I had such a hard time choosing a recipe from this blog.  First I decided to make Fontina Crostini with Lemon Gremolata, then I changed my mind and added all the ingredients for Layered Black Bean Enchiladas to my shopping list and headed out to the store.  I got rear-ended big time on my way to the store and needless to stay never went shopping.  Stuck home the next day, I decided to make a sweet treat for the kids and decided to visit the recipe index again.  That’s when I saw this recipe for Whole Lemon Bars and called the kids in to help make these.  They were easy to make and fun.  The thought of using the entire lemon had us all anxiously awaiting our first bite.  These lemon bars definitely have a pucker to them – but we love that.  I will definitely be making these again.

recipe from A Spoonful of Thyme and David Lebovitz

For Crust
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
8 Tbsp of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

For Lemon Topping
1 lemon, (make sure to clean it since you are using the entire lemon)
1 cup of sugar
3 Tbsp of lemon juice
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 tsp of corn starch
1/4 tsp of salt
3 Tbsp of unsalted butter, melted

Optional:  Powder sugar

For Crust
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line a  8-inch square pan with foil. Smooth it as best you can.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 8 Tbsp of melted butter, and vanilla, stir the mixture just until smooth.Smooth the batter into the bottom of the lined pan, using your hands or a small offset spatula to get it as level as possible

Bake the crust for 25 minutes, or until it’s deep-golden brown.

For the Filling
While the crust is cooking, cut the lemon in half and remove all the seeds. Now cut the lemon into smaller chunks.Put the chunks of lemon in a food processor or blender along with the sugar and lemon juice. Let it run until the lemon is broken up.  Add the eggs, corn starch, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3 Tbsp of melted butter to the mixture and blend until almost smooth. Having some smaller chunks left in there is fine.
When the crust is done pull it out of the oven and reduce the heat of the oven to 300° F. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling and is barely set

Remove the pan from the oven and let everything cool completely.  Once it has cooled, carefully lift out the bars by the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles.  Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top just before serving, if desired

Storage:  The bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to three days.  You can freeze the lemon bars as well for up to one month, letting them come to room temperature before serving.