Strawberry Lemon Bars
Oh how I love dessert. The perfect sweet ending to any meal. And there’s not too much I don’t like in the dessert category. Chocolate, ice cream, cake, cookies, pie, tarts… you name it, I’ll eat it! Well…that is, except for chocolate mousse cake. I had that when I was about 8 and got sick afterwards and I’ve never eaten it since then. So all other desserts besides chocolate mousse cake!
However, I have a particular liking for tart flavors. Like lemon or lime – I’ll always go for that instead of chocolate or something richer. Especially in the Spring and Summer a light lemony dessert is always delicious on a warmer evening. A few years back Dario and I were hooked on my Vanilla Scented Lemon Bars. Super lemony, sweet and light. Oh so good!
For Easter I wanted to make these same lemon bars. But I thought I could put a fun twist on them – adding in some strawberry puree! Sweet strawberries not only add a delicious berry flavor, but also a beautiful pink hue to these bars. Pink desserts are a must in the Spring!
- ½ cup flour
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 pints strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- 4 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place ½ cup flour, 2 tbsp powdered sugar, almond meal, and salt in a food processor; pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and canola oil. Pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.
- In a greased 8″ square baking dish, add in the crust mixture and press evenly over the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a glass to get a nice compact crust. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
- Puree strawberries in a food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove most of the seeds – you should have about 1/2 cup of puree leftover.
- Combine ¾ cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon juice, strawberry puree and eggs in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth. Pour filling over crust.
- Return bars to oven and bake at 325° for 25-27 minutes or until the center set. Remove from oven, and cool pan on a wire rack.
- Cover and put the bars into the fridge for at least 2 hours. After they have completely cooled, slice into 16 squares – wet knife in between each cut for even, mess-free slices.