I made these bars for Matthew's birthday party last weekend and they were a major hit. Lemon bars are a classic dessert favorite but I wanted to try a variation that was a little different. I had come across a recipe for lemon bars with raspberry juice infused into the curd, resulting in a noticeable color makeover as well as an additional layer of tartness. With a generous dusting of powdered sugar, these made a delicious alternative to all the chocolate offerings on our dessert table. They made me very impatient for the return of warm, humid summer afternoons where I can slowly sip an ice cold glass of lemonade. In the meantime, I think I'll go have another one of these babies.
Adapted from Sophistimom
For the crust:
9 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the raspberry-lemon layer:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2-2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
2/3 cup lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
Using a mixer, combine the butter and sugar until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the flour and salt until just incorporated. Carefully press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave the heat at 350 degrees.
While the crust is baking, prepare the raspberry-lemon layer. Whisk together the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fine mesh sieve, press the raspberries through to extract as much juice as possible. Press firmly on the raspberries with a spatula or the back of a spoon to ensure that you get as much of the juice as possible while straining out the seeds. It might be easier to do this in small batches. Add the egg whites and egg to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk well to blend. Whisk in the raspberry puree and lemon juice until smooth.
Carefully, pour the raspberry-lemon mixture over the baked crust and then return the baking pan to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is just set and no longer jiggles when shaken. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover well with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Cut into small bars and dust with powdered sugar. Serve!