I’ve always loved any dessert with lemon in it. The lemon pavlova recipe I shared not too long ago is the perfect example. To be totally honest though, lemon bars – a lemony classic – has struck me as generally too sweet. I’ll still eat them of course, often until I’m sick, but I sit and wonder if there could be a better lemon bar out there. So I decided to come up with one.
It’s not like I’m totally reinventing the wheel here. I just reduced the sugar in the lemon bar filling and added a layer of lemon cream* for some contrast in texture. Just to be extra fancy I’m adding a little lemon macaron, and although the method for the macaron can be found right here (and an extra link below), I’ve included the lemon ganache recipe for them below.
*you may recognize the cream recipe from my cherry tart post. Another reason why I love that recipe so much, it’s super versatile!
lemon ganache for macaron
107g heavy cream
236g white chocolate Guittard Creme Francais 31%
10g lemon juice
5g lemon zest approx. 1 lemon
24g butter unsalted
12g inverted sugar optional
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the white chocolate.
Bring the cream to a simmer. For such a small amount, I like to use the microwave.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2-3min.
Add the butter and inverted sugar and whisk or hand-blend the mixture until shiny and emulsified.
Cover the ganache with plastic wrap and let it set in the cooler overnight.
Pipe the ganache onto each pair of macaron shells. Let the macaron temper in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or covered, for 1-2days.
*Find the macaron recipe here. For lemon macaron simply add yellow food color to the almond paste mixture and follow the instructions for the plain shell as normal.
lemon bar crust
337g all-purpose flour
7g baking powder
133g butter unsalted
118g whole eggs approx. 2 eggs
5g vanilla extract
Bring the butter to room temp. before getting started.
Combine and sift the all-purpose flour and baking powder and reserve to use later.
Combine the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a stand mixing bowl with a paddle attachment.
Mix the ingredients until they’re well incorporated and smooth.
Add the whole eggs and mix until they’re fully emulsified into the butter mixture.
Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until the dough is just combined.
Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour up to overnight.
Roll the dough out to 1/8”/ 3mm thick and lay over a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
Place a half sheet cake frame onto the pan, punching into the dough.
Par bake the dough at 350F/176C for 3-5min.
lemon bar filling
328g whole egg approx. 6 eggs
49g all-purpose flour
123g lemon juice
4g lemon zest approx. 1 lemon
Sift the all-purpose flour and reserve to use later.
Combine the whole eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and whisk or hand-blend.
Whisk or hand-blend the all-purpose flour into the mixture.
Pour the mixture over the par-baked crust.
Bake at 300F/148C for 30min. or until the filling is set.
517g lemon juice
37g corn starch
10g gelatin 160 bloom
207g heavy cream
Hydrate the gelatin in cold water and reserve to use later.
Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks in a stand mixer with a whip attachment. Reserve the whipped cream in the cooler to use later.
Warm the lemon juice over medium heat. While the lemon juice is warming, squeeze the excess water from the hydrated gelatin and have it on hand to use.
Combine the sugar and cornstarch and add to the lemon juice while whisking.
Whisk the mixture over medium-high heat until it thickens and just begins to boil.
Remove from the heat and add the gelatin, whisking until it is fully dissolved and incorporated.
Cool the thickened lemon juice over and ice bath until it is near room temp (77-86F/25-30C).
Fold the whipped cream into the mixture.
Cast the lemon cream over the baked and cooled lemon bar and freeze.
Cut the lemon bars using a hot knife. I cut them in 2×2″ squares but it’s your world when it comes to the size of the bar.
Garnish the bars with lemon zest and the lemon macaron.