Let's just get this out of the way — I really love lemon bars. Sure, I love chocolate chip cookies and a very good brownie as much as the next person, but lemon bars light me up like a little kid; their eye-catching brightness and promise of a sweet pucker always reel me in. This lemon bar is what I consider the ideal, with a buttery shortbread crust that is sturdy but tender enough to bite through and a thick and luscious filling with a balance of sweetness and tangy lemon brightness.
A solid recipe for this beloved bakery-style treat remained elusive to me for many years, as I often attempted to turn lemon curd into bars without success. As it turns out, there are just a few key steps to making the very best lemon bars at home, including a secret ingredient for a soft and sturdy crust, smart timing for filling the crust, and a lemon filling (not curd) that bakes up with all the brightness I was searching for. Here's how to make the very best classic lemon bars at home.
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