I absolutely LOVE lemon bars. A sweet tarty filling with a soft chewy shortbread crust. What is not to love? When it comes to lemon bar recipes, Ina Garten’s are by far the best!
When I was newly engaged, I wanted to learn everything about baking and cooking for my soon-to-be-husband. I would watch Barefoot Contessa with more intent than many of my college lectures. I carefully studied how she stirred and measured, took notes on what products she used, how she held a knife, and most of all: tips and tricks she’d discovered from over the years. After all of that intense studying, I began putting that new found knowledge to action. I tried many of her recipes and loved them. Then I began testing those tried and true recipes to be naturally sweet.
Pretty soon, I was led to recreate her famous recipe for lemon bars. I have to confess, as a true lemon bar lover, these come scary close to the originals. They have the same dreamy custardy lemon center. The crust still melts in your mouth. The lemon flavor pops perfectly despite the change of sweeteners. You won’t be disappointed in the least!
Ina Garten’s Lemon Bars
1 cup unsalted Butter at room temperature
1/2 cup Powdered Honey
2 cups Spelt Flour
1/8 teaspoon Salt
6 Large Eggs at room temperature (if using medium eggs, increase to 7)
2 cups Powdered Honey
1 cup Xylitol
2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest (about 5 or 6 Lemons)
1 cup fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Spelt Flour
Optional: 2 Tablespoons Powdered Xylitol for dusting
For the crust, cream butter and powdered honey until light in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add flour and salt to the butter until just mixed. Flour your hands and dump the dough into a 9 by 13 baking sheet and press down, building up a 1/2-inch edge on sides of pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chill the dough crust in freezer for a minute.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sweeteners, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and flour. Pour over the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 33-37 minutes. Cover half way through baking time. Don’t over bake, it’s okay if the very middle is a little wiggly! Let cool to room temperature or enjoy warm.
Optional: Once completely cooled, blend 2 tablespoons of xylitol in a blender. Dust over cooled lemon bars.