After making my white chocolate and raspberry swirl cheesecake last week, to amazing reviews I might add, I had raspberries left over and wanted to use them up. I had seen a recipe for raspberry lemon bars on my favorite food blog Annie's Eats back in August and had made a mental note to try it out at some point in the near future. Looking at my fridge I saw that I had all the right ingredients and knew that the time had come.
I was a little hesitant to make the full recipe because it called for a lot of eggs...six egg whites and two whole eggs to be precise. Instead I opted to make half and see if everyone liked it enough for me to make an entire batch next time. I must have some sort of secret psychic powers unbeknownst to me because as I started to make the filling, with the dough already in the oven, I realized that I was one egg short. Of course for the half batch this didn't make too much of a difference, I just used a whole egg in place of two egg whites, but if I had been making an entire batch this would have definitely been a bigger problem.
Luckily I don't think the egg swap I made altered the taste in any way because the bars tasted delicious. I must admit it was quite a lengthy process to make them considering that the raspberries had to be strained to remove the seeds and I had to squeeze a lot of lemons to get enough lemon juice. But all that hard work was definitely worth it! The lemon really stood out and gave the bars a nice, tart flavor which coupled well with the buttery crust. My grandpa especially loved the bars and, much to my brother's disappointment, kept the couple of extra pieces that remained. I can't say that the raspberry flavor was too strong, in fact it was quite mild, but it made the bars a beautiful rose color which was quite pleasing to the eye. Seeing how much everyone loved the bars I will be sure to bake a full batch next time. I guess I'll just have to make my creme brulees as well to use up all those egg yolks I'll be left with.
Raspberry Lemon Bars
Note: These proportions reflect the full recipe. To halve it, bake in an 8" x 8" baking pan with a slightly reduced baking time.
For the crust:
- 1 cup (16 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 3 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- To prepare the crust, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Lower the speed and mix in the flour and salt until just incorporated. The dough will be crumbly but you can work it into a uniform dough using your hands.
- Press the dough in an even layer into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the crust is a light golden brown.
- While the crust is baking, combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend.
- Heat the raspberries in a small saucepan over low heat until they break apart then press through a fine mesh sieve to remove all the seeds. Set the raspberry puree aside.
- Add the egg whites and whole eggs to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk well to incorporate.
- Whisk in the raspberry puree and lemon juice until the mixture is completely smooth. It will be quite liquidy in consistency.
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the center is just set and no longer jiggles when gently shaken.
- Cool to room temperature then cover and chill well in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- To serve, use the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan and slice into bars. Dust the tops with a little bit of powdered sugar if desired.