Recipe: Grandmother Esther’s Fabulous Lemon Bars

Grandmother Esther’s Fabulous Lemon Bars

Fifty years later I can still vividly remember cooking with my Grandmother Esther in the kitchen of her small farm house. It wasn’t a fancy kitchen anything but, but it was beautiful to me.

The kitchen’s south window was always surrounded by sweet pea flowers. Their sweet fragrance drifted into the house and was mingled with the delicious smells coming from the oven and stove. From that window she could see the nuts growing on the black walnut tree, the feathery asparagus floating in the breeze amidst the bright pink cosmos and blue bachelor button flowers. She could watch for chickens getting into her gardens and was quick with a shout and to give chase with a broom raised above her head to route the invaders.

That tiny kitchen, with its old stove and cabinets with the stain worn off around the cabinet pulls, was beautiful because grandma was there. I will always picture her as she was then in her homemade gingham dress topped with a hand embroidered apron, bent over a steaming kettle with a hand-carved wooden spoon in her snarled hands and steamed up bi-focals fogging her vision perched on the tip of her nose as she tasted a culinary creation.

Grandmother Esther was always cooking something whether it was boiling a cow’s tongue in a cast iron skillet, baking cookies, breads and pies or cooking down the farm’s fruits into preserves and jellies. Grandma was cock robin of her kitchen.

My grandmother was known for her lemon bars and she knew they were my favorite. I hope you will try this recipe and let them become a favorite in your home too.

Grandmother Esther’s Fabulous Lemon Bars

2 cups of flour
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar

Lemon Filling:
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoon flour
2 medium lemons, juice and grated peel
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine flour, butter and powdered sugar until dough forms. Evenly press crust into the bottom of a greased 9 X 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Prepare filling while crust bakes. Beat eggs with granulated sugar, flour, juice and grated peel of 2 lemons. Just before pouring filling into hot crust, add the baking powder to the filling and stir until well blended. Pour filling into hot crust and bake for another 20 minutes, until filling is set and just barely browned. Dust with powdered sugar. Cool and cut into bars.


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