Some foods just go together. Grilled cheese and tomato soup, creamed butter and sugar, garlic and caramelized onions… for me, I'm addicted to raspberry and lemon. So when I saw these bars last year, I knew I had to make them. A little less than a year later and I finally made the recipe.
Tangy, vibrant, subtly sweet with a rich, buttery crust. These raspberry lemonade bars are the perfect summer dessert. They're a little bit more dense than your typical lemon bar which makes them even more baker friendly! Easy to cut and they have a GORGEOUS vibrant color. Dust them with powdered sugar if you want but I actually like them better without. Also, DO NOT BAKE THESE IN A METAL DISH. Metal and citrus don't' mix well… it gives it a weird metallic-y flavor, no good.
Looking for something to make on The 4th of July? These are the perfect backyard party treat to bring! See my improv suggestions below to make it even more patriotic for the 4th!
raspberry lemonade bars
adapted from sophistimom
for the crust:
9 T. (1 stick + 1 T.) butter
¼ c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 t. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
for the filling:
12 oz (heaping 2 c.) frozen raspberries thawed
¾ c. sugar
⅔ c. lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 T. lemon zest (3 lemons worth)
3 egg whites
⅔ c. flour
pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting on top
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper so you can easily lift the bars out once they've cooled. If you don't have an 8x8 that's ok. I did this in a smaller rectangular pan too and they turned out just fine. You may have to adjust the baking times depending on the size.
To make the crust:
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, then add in vanilla. Add flour until just incorporated. Dump dough in baking pan and press with your hands until it evenly covers the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until slightly golden brown.
To make the filling:
If you, like me didn't have enough time for the raspberries to thaw on their own, place in microwave for 1 minute to soften them up. Then put in a fine mesh sieve and press the berries through (this removes the seeds) into a large bowl. If you don't mind seeds, you can add them in whole. Or if you don't have a sieve, you can blend them up in a food processor or blender. Add sugar, egg whites, egg, lemon juice + zest, flour, and salt to the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the crust (don't worry, it's a very loose mixture, it will thicken) and bake for 25 - 30 minutes depending on your oven and the sized baking dish you use.
Let cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for 4 hours (or until they've cooled completely). You can place them in the freezer if you need them sooner but refrigerator is best. If you let them cool overnight, they're even better!
i prefer my bars with a good amount of tartness. if you have a sweet tooth, consider increasing up to 1½ c. sugar.
there's TONS of possibilities to change this recipe up! strawberry lemonade bars anyone?! you could make this a fun 4th of july treat by doing blueberry lemon and strawberry lemon bars (red, white - crust, and blue!). i'm going to show you how i improv'd these bars tomorrow but here are some combinations to consider:
• cherry lime
• blackberry lime (coming in tomorrow's post)
• strawberry orange (use less sugar)
• grapefruit bars
• blueberry lemon
• strawberry lemon