Strawberry Lemon Bars
Sweet Strawberry Lemon Bars —
Oh, those sweet, juicy strawberries that have been so hard to resist this spring, are the inspiration for these strawberry lemon bars. It seems like I have been going “berry crazy”, creating and sharing yummy recipes for strawberry butter and strawberry gazpacho – be sure to check them out, if you haven’t already. I guess that’s what happens when you’re tempted by those gigantic boxes of sweet, fresh strawberries sold at Costco – so many berries – so little time to consume them. This is a perfect way to use up berries that are a few days past their prime.
This strawberry lemon bar recipe is a “pretty in pink” twist on the classic lemon bar. You start by making an easy crust, this version is from “Cooking Light” and I have used it many times, not only as a crust recipe for bars, but also also as a crust for tarts. Most crust recipes call for a lot more butter – this one reduces that amount almost in half. The addition of cornstarch provides an appealing sandy shortbread quality that I personally love. I used sprouted spelt flour as my flour of choice, but all-purpose flour, or gluten free will work too. Since January, I have been using One Degree Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour as my flour of choice because of it’s increased nutritional qualities, lower glycemic index, and ease of digestibility. If you want to know more about sprouted grains, read the back story in my post for healthy whole grain banana muffins with coconut and pecans.
The crust is pressed lightly into an 8x8 square pan coated with cooking spray, and baked for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the strawberries are pureed, then strained to remove the seeds, which are then discarded. The rest of the ingredients are added to the strawberry puree to make the filling. The strawberry lemon filling is poured onto the hot crust and baked again until the bars are set, about 25 minutes. When baking is complete, the bars should be cooled completely and then refrigerated for at least two hours before cutting. You’ll find these bars to be a bit softer than traditional lemon bars, and are best kept chilled until ready to eat. Before serving, dust liberally with powdered sugar, and garnish with a sliced strawberry.
This is an easy to make and refreshing dessert you’ll want to add to your summer recipe collection. Strawberry Lemon Bars are a perfect desert for all your summer barbecues. For 4th of July, consider adding red food color to the puree, and topping the bars with blueberries for a patriotic red, white, and blue spin!
PREP TIME - Minutes
BAKE TIME - Minutes
- 1 cup flour (I used sprouted spelt flour)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Cooking spray
- STRAWBERRY LEMON FILLING:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 TBS cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- powdered sugar for dusting
- 4 berries reserved for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare crust: lightly spoon 1 cup flour into measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter and oil; pulse until mixture resembles sand. Lightly press mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
- Prepare strawberry puree: wipe food processor bowl clean. Place berries in processor; process until smooth. Over a bowl, strain strawberry puree through a fine strainer (sieve) pressing on solids; seeds will remain - discard.
- Prepare filling; lightly spoon ⅓ cup flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. In large bowl add flour and Add 2 Tbs. cornstarch, whisk lightly to combine. Add strawberry puree, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and ⅛ teaspoon salt; stir well with a whisk. Add eggs; gently stir with a whisk until combined. Pour mixture onto hot crust. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set.
- Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before slicing. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar, and top with a sliced strawberry. Refrigerator any left-overs.
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