Strawberry Lemon Bars

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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!

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strawberrylemonbars1 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!

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strawberrylemonbars2 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!

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strawberrylemonbars5 These Strawberry Lemon Bars are super quick to make, are light and are my all time favorite dessert.  Like ever…these are the best!  So whip up a batch (or two) and enjoy!

strawberrylemonbars4 Strawberry Lemon Bars:
Ingredients:

  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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