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SMALL-BATCH STRAWBERRY LEMON BARS

10 Mins read
berry cake bars with caramel almond topping

You’re in for a treat with these small-batch strawberry lemon bars! Bursting with the flavours of fresh strawberries and zesty lemon, these bars are the perfect way to indulge in a little something sweet without committing to a whole batch.

Plus, with this recipe, you won’t have to worry about any leftovers going to waste. The crust is buttery and crisp, providing the perfect base for the sweet and tangy filling.

flat lay snack bars with fruits

And the best part? You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients to make these bars. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a delicious dessert that’s sure to impress.

So grab your apron and let’s get baking!

Ingredients and Equipment Needed

You’ll need a few basic ingredients and equipment to whip up these delicious small-batch strawberry lemon bars. For ingredients, you’ll need fresh strawberries, lemons, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Make sure to use only fresh and ripe strawberries to get the full flavour. You can also experiment with different flavour combinations by adding some herbs like thyme or rosemary to the mix.

strawberry lemon bars

In terms of equipment, you’ll need a mixing bowl, a whisk, a baking dish, and a measuring cup or spoon. When it comes to mixing techniques, make sure to mix the ingredients thoroughly and evenly to avoid any lumps or uneven texture. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this step, but using a whisk by hand can also do the trick.

With these basic ingredients and equipment, you’ll be able to create a delicious batch of small-batch strawberry lemon bars that will surely impress your taste buds.

Preparing the Crust

Now that you’ve got your ingredients ready, it’s time to dive into creating the perfect crust for your delectable treat.

First, you’ll need to decide on what type of crust you want to make. There are a variety of options, including a classic shortbread crust, a graham cracker crust, or even a nutty crust made with almonds or walnuts. Each adds its own unique flavour profile to the dessert, so choose based on your personal preference.

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Once you’ve decided on your crust, it’s time to start preparing it. For any type of crust, you’ll want to begin by blind baking it. This means baking the crust on its own, without the filling, to ensure it’s fully cooked and crisp.

To do this, simply line your baking dish with the crust and use pie weights or dry beans to keep it from puffing up. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown.

Now that your crust is perfectly cooked, you’re ready to move on to the next step: preparing the filling.

Making the Strawberry Lemon Filling

Get ready to mix together a creamy and tangy filling made with fresh strawberries and zesty lemon juice, adding a burst of fruity flavour to your delectable treat.

Start by making the strawberry puree. Wash and hull 1 pound of fresh strawberries, then puree them in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside the puree for later use.

top view delicious acai dessert with strawberries

In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in 2 tablespoons of lemon zest and mix until well combined. Gradually fold in the strawberry puree, followed by 4 large eggs, one at a time.

Finally, add in 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and mix until just combined. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set.

Let cool completely before slicing and serving. The combination of strawberry puree and lemon zest is sure to enhance the filling flavour, making these small-batch strawberry lemon bars irresistibly delicious.

Baking and Cooling the Bars

Once you’ve mixed together the creamy and tangy filling, it’s time to bake and let the bars cool before indulging in the delectable dessert.

To achieve the perfect texture, it’s important to preheat your oven to the correct temperature and use a timer to avoid overbaking. Be sure to line your baking pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and spread the filling evenly over the crust to ensure even baking.

chocolate brownie cake piece pie homemade pastries sweet cooking

When it’s time to take the bars out of the oven, you may notice that the crust has cracked. Don’t worry, this is a common issue. To troubleshoot this, you can try reducing the oven temperature slightly or baking the crust for a shorter amount of time.

Once the bars are done baking, let them cool completely before cutting into them for the best results. With these baking tips and troubleshooting techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly baked small-batch strawberry lemon bars every time!

Cutting and Serving the Bars

You’re in for a treat as you slice into these delectable squares and savour each bite of the creamy, tangy filling atop the buttery crust.

But before you dive in, let’s talk about presentation tips and serving suggestions to make your small-batch strawberry lemon bars even more impressive.

First, let’s talk about cutting the bars. Use a sharp knife to ensure clean, even slices. You can cut them into small squares or larger rectangles, depending on your preference.

sweet delicious raspberry jam cookies with ripe raspberries top view

To make them even more visually appealing, dust the tops with powdered sugar or add a dollop of whipped cream on each serving. Serve them on a decorative platter or individual dessert plates for an elegant touch.

These bars are perfect for any occasion, from a casual afternoon snack to a fancy dinner party.

With these presentation tips and serving suggestions, your small-batch strawberry lemon bars will be the star of the show.

Storing and Freezing Tips

Want to make sure you can enjoy these delicious small-batch strawberry lemon bars anytime? Proper storage is key!

First, make sure the bars have cooled completely before storing them. You can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

If you want to keep them longer, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. If you don’t want to wait that long, you can heat them up in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes. These bars are so delicious, you won’t want to waste any of them!

side view tasty crispbread with blueberries strawberries nuts with sour cream wooden rustic background with copy space

If you want to freeze the bars, make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy them again, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. If you can’t wait that long, you can reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

With these tips, you can enjoy these small-batch strawberry lemon bars anytime you want!

Variations and Substitutions for the Recipe

Looking to mix up the classic recipe? Check out these creative twists and ingredient swaps for adding your own flavour to the small-batch strawberry lemon bars.

For a nutty crunch, try adding pistachios or almonds to the crust. You can also mix in some shredded coconut for a tropical twist.

If you’re looking to switch up the fruit, you can substitute the strawberries with raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. You can also try adding a layer of sliced peaches or apricots for a sweet and tangy twist.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with adding herbs like basil or thyme to the filling for a unique flavour combination.

With so many options, the possibilities are endless for making these small-batch strawberry lemon bars your own.

HELP SECTION

Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones?

Hey there! Are you looking to switch things up and use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones in your recipe?

strawberry cake with cream isolated white background close up

While it may seem like a convenient option, there are some benefits to using fresh strawberries that you may want to consider. For starters, fresh strawberries have a brighter, sweeter taste that can enhance the overall flavour of your dish.

On the other hand, frozen strawberries tend to be slightly sweeter and softer due to the freezing process. While they can still be delicious, they may not provide the same level of freshness and vibrancy that fresh strawberries can bring.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your personal preference, but it’s always worth experimenting with different ingredients to see what works best for you!

Can I substitute the lemon juice with lime or orange juice?

Looking for a way to switch up the flavour in your favourite dessert recipe? You can substitute lemon juice with lime or orange juice, which can add a unique twist to your dish. Experimenting with flavour variations is a great way to keep your taste buds excited and your meals interesting.

Whether you’re making a classic dish or something new, incorporating different flavours can take it to the next level. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to try a new ingredient or switch up a recipe. Who knows, you may discover a new favourite flavour combination!

glass cup fresh lemon juice wooden board

How long will the bars stay fresh if stored in an airtight container?

When it comes to best storage practices for baked goods, it’s important to keep in mind that the way you store them can greatly affect their freshness and taste.

To ensure your bars stay fresh for as long as possible, there are a few tips you can follow. First, make sure to store them in an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing any unwanted odours or moisture.

Additionally, you can try adding a slice of bread to the container to help absorb any excess moisture. Finally, keep your bars in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

By following these tips, you can help extend the life of your baked goods and keep them tasting their best for as long as possible.

top view cake slices with red berries light

Can I use a different type of crust, such as graham cracker or shortbread?

Looking to switch up your crust game? Alternative crust options are a great way to add a new twist to your favourite desserts. You can try using graham crackers or shortbread for a unique and delicious base. Not only do these crusts offer a different texture, but they also add new flavour variations that can elevate your dessert to the next level.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different crust options and see what works best for you. Who knows, you might just discover a new favourite!

Can I add other fruits to the filling, such as blueberries or raspberries?

Looking to mix up your fruit game and create some unique flavour combinations? Adding blueberries or raspberries to your filling for your next dessert creation might just be the answer.

Mixing fruits can create an exciting and delicious twist on traditional desserts, and the possibilities are endless. Imagine the tangy sweetness of strawberries paired with the tartness of raspberries, or the classic combination of blueberries and lemon.

The beauty of experimenting with fruit is that you can tailor your creation to your personal taste preferences. So next time you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen, try mixing fruits in your dessert filling and discover a whole new world of flavours.

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SMALL-BATCH STRAWBERRY LEMON BARS

With this recipe, you won't have to worry about any leftovers going to waste. The crust is buttery and crisp, providing the perfect base for the sweet and tangy filling.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 People
Calories 301 kcal

Ingredients
  

Strawberry Lemon Filling

  • 1 lemon zested or 2-3 teaspoons zest
  • ½ cup lemon juice or the juice of about 3 lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lb strawberries trimmed fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 ¾ cups 210g all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar or ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature cut into ½-inch cubes

Instructions
 

  • Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and strawberries in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook the mixture for 12-15 minutes (on the longer side for frozen berries), stirring occasionally, or until the strawberries are very easy to smush with a fork.
  • Pour the strawberry and lemon mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cornstarch and blend until smooth (you can also add the cornstarch and blend with an immersion blender until smooth). Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, pressing the liquid through as the strawberry solids remain in the sieve.
  • Chill the mixture for 30-45 minutes, or until at room temperature or cooler. Clean out the food processor bowl and blade (if you used them).
  • While the strawberry lemon mixture cools, make the crust: preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add the flour, salt, and granulated sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend.
  • With the food processor running, drop the cubes of butter one by one into the flour mixture. Run the processor until the dough sticks together and forms a large mass.
  • Turn the dough out into the baking pan. Gently press down with your fingers or a spatula to evenly spread it into the pan.
  • Bake the crust for 23-25 minutes, or until the crust just starts to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk the 4 large eggs into the cooled strawberry lemon mixture until fully combined and a lighter pink color.
  • Pour the strawberry lemon filling into the still-warm crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling has thickened and just barely jiggles when you nudge the pan with a potholder.
  • Remove the bars from the oven. Cool on a wire rack at room temperature until it reaches room temperature, or for about an hour. Move to the refrigerator and let chill for up to 2 hours, or until the bars are cool and firm. Slice the bars, sprinkle with powdered sugar (if desired), and enjoy cool!

Notes

  • Refrigeration: Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 1 week. 
  • Freezing: Freeze bars, separated by parchment paper or wax paper, in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months.
  • Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free use one-to-one gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour. 
  • Dairy-Free: To make dairy-free bars, substitute vegan butter for unsalted butter.
  • Pan Size: Make sure to use an 8 x 8 baking pan for this recipe.  Larger-sized pans will make the shortbread too thin and layers will burn.

WELL DONE!!!!

Congratulations, you’ve just made a delicious batch of small-batch strawberry lemon bars! Now that you’ve tried this recipe, you may be wondering if there’s any truth to the theory that small-batch baking yields better results.

While there’s no scientific evidence to support this theory, many home bakers swear by the benefits of small-batch baking. Not only does it allow for more precise measurements and better temperature control, but it also reduces waste and allows for more experimentation with flavours and textures.

So whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, consider giving small-batch baking a try and see for yourself if it makes a difference in your results.

Happy baking!

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About author
Meet Sue Perera, the culinary aficionado behind our captivating recipe hub. An imaginative and talented young woman, Sue has an unwavering passion for all things food – especially those aromatic wonders, cinnamon and thyme. Her deep-seated love for these two unique spices inspired the birth of this website, but don't be fooled – her culinary repertoire extends far beyond these two ingredients.
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