I am unbelievably ready for fall and all the things that come with it. Fall weather is my favorite for several reasons, but one of the main ones is that it’s warm enough for sandals but cool enough for jeans and a cardigan. Pumpkin, of course, is the reason I really look forward to fall every year. Sadly, it’s still August, which means the unofficial start of fall is still over a week away. On a brighter note, that means there’s still time to enjoy summery desserts like this one.
I first made these lemon bars for my friend Erin’s birthday. They were such a hit at her party that I knew I’d have to make them again before summer’s end. I put off making them until I realized that as soon as I made my first pumpkin dessert, there was no going back to summer ones. Since I know I have little will power when it comes to pumpkin, it was imperative that I make these and soon. (Beware the pumpkin posts that await next month.) These lemon bars remind me a lot of cheesecake bars. They start with a thick, lemony graham cracker crust that’s topped with a tart, even more lemony filling. I haven’t used sweetened condensed milk much, and I had no idea it would create such a smooth, rich filling. To take the bars over the top, fresh blueberries are folded into the filling, providing a pop of flavor and color. These bars are a little sweet, a little tart and a lot delicious. I know fall is almost here, but these bars are almost enough to make me wish for an extra week of summer.
- YIELD: 16 bars
For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
Zest of one lemon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 350º. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and lemon zest. Stir in the melted butter until all the crumbs are moistened. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Then whisk in the lemon juice and zest and stir until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries.
Pour the filling over the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes, until just set.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting and serving. Bars are best served chilled and will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.