Blueberry-Lemon Pie Bars

Lemon Blueberry Pie Bars

A refreshing summer treat, these bars are fresh and fruity, without being overly sweet.

Blueberry-Lemon Pie Bars

from freshaprilflours.com

Shortbread Crust Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) melted unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

zest of one lemon

2 cups all purpose flour

Filling Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1- 5.3 ounce container lemon flavor greek yogurt

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 eggs

pinch of salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your pan. Choose an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan, line with parchment or foil, leaving an overhang on the sides of the pan.

Prepare the crust.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and melted butter with half of the lemon zest. Mix in flour until well combined. Set aside 3/4 cup of the crust mixture in the refrigerator.

Add remaining dough to prepared pan and press in evenly. Bake for 18 minutes.

Prepare the filling. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat softened cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and continue to beat until well combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sugar, lemon yogurt, remaining zest, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Add flour and mix just until combined. Using a spoon or a spatula, gently fold in blueberries.

Remove crust from oven when done and pour filling over crust. Spread evenly. Crumble reserved crust over top and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 55-65 minutes until lightly browned, test with toothpick for doneness.  Move to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cover with foil and move to refrigerator for at least one hour.

Once completely chilled, lift out of pan and cut into bars. Top with additional blueberries and zest, if desired, and serve. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Creamy Lemon Squares

Creamy Lemon squares

The cold, snowy Chicago winter has given way to a wet, rainy summer. On those rainy days, I turn to the lemon to get my needed sunshine. Yellow and bright like the sun, the fresh and fruity lemon lifts my spirits and brightens my day. Simple and sweet, this classic, creamy lemon bar recipe is easy as pie…..squared. So bake a little sunshine and brighten your day. Your tummy will be happy too.

Creamy Lemon Squares – from Everyday Food

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 level cup all-purpose flour
4 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Also butter the paper.

To make the crust, beat butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, and mix on low just until blended. Press dough into the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Prick dough with a fork and bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

For the filling, whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice in a large bowl until smooth. Pour over the warm, baked crust and return to oven. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. When completely cooled, move to refrigerator and chill until filling is firm, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove from pan using the paper overhang. Cut into desired number of squares and dust with confectioners sugar.

Meyer Lemon Bars

Meyer Lemon Bars 1

If you’ve never baked with Meyer lemons you don’t know what you’re missing. A cross between a lemon and mandarin orange, the Meyer lemon is sweeter and less tart than the more common Eureka lemons you typically find the supermarket. These mouth-watering bars are luscious and lemony with a hint of orange flavor that will have you running back for more.

Meyer Lemon Bars
recipe from Group Recipes.com

Makes 16 bars in an 8×8 pan

For the Crust you will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

For the filling you will need:
2 large eggs
1 cup superfine sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch square pan. Line the pan with parchment paper with 2 sides overhanging. Lightly butter the parchment paper.

For the crust:

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Pulse twice to combine. Add butter and pulse several times until mixture looks coarse and butter resembles small peas.

Pour into prepared pan and press down evenly. Bake 20 minutes until lightly golden in color.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. If you can’t find superfine sugar, add sugar to the bowl of a mini food processor and process for about 30 seconds. Add sugar, flour and salt to eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in lemon zest and juice just until combined.

Pour filling over hot crust and return pan to oven. Bake for 18 minutes. Cool pan on a wire rack. When completely cooled, use a sharp knife to loosen cake from edges of pan. Using the parchment overhang, lift out of pan onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Meyer lemon bars 2

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Just thinking about blackberries takes me back to my childhood. They remind me of hot summer days, growing up on the farm in Fairhope Alabama where blackberries grew wild along the fence rows. We’d pick giant bowls of berries and my mother would make glorious jars of jam and pans of warm, gooey cobbler. Those days are long gone, and my berries come in 5 ounce plastic containers from the grocery store. Still I love to have them often and in myriad ways- in smoothies, yogurt, pie and cake.

These blackberry crumb bars from Everyday Food are moist, buttery and just sweet enough to take me back to those summer days once again.

Blackberry Crumb Bars 2

Blackberry Crumb Bars

6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
1/2 cup (1 stick), room temperature
1 tablespoon room temperature butter for pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon flour for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 containers (5 ounces each) blackberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare an 8 inch square baking pan. Butter the sides and bottom, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Next, butter and flour the parchment paper.

For the topping, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.

In another medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until golden. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a cutting board and cut into squares.