Jammy slices of strawberries nestled into a lemon lime filling supported by an oat-y flavored shortbread crust were a couple of good reasons why I thought it was okay to mess with one of my favorites- Classic Lemon Bars. Plus the strawberries look pretty- all jammy on top of the lemon lime filling. The strawberries and lemons came from my visit to the farmer’s market and the lime juice with zest came from the freezer, part of my Key lime stash that I juiced and zested for a rainy day. While it didn’t really rain yesterday, we had a full day of foggy drizzle with not a blue sky to be seen. So, on went the oven and in went my strawberry lemon lime bars.
Lemons, limes and strawberries are naturals baked together in these bar cookies. Next time I would like to try blueberries or maybe a mix of fresh berries on top of these rich citrusy shortbread bar cookies. The oatmeal in the shortbread crust is another twist on the classic lemon bars but adds a nice oat-y flavor. I’m also thinking that these bars would make a good addition to a Father’s Day barbecue-now we just need our sunny blue skies to hang around for the weekend.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens and the blog No Recipes.
- For the Oat-y Shortbread Crust
- 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 & 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
- For the Strawberry Lemon Lime Filling
- 1 & 1/2 cups halved sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, to sprinkle on sliced strawberries
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Zest of small lemon
- Zest of lime
- 1/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup strained fresh lime juice
- Additional powdered sugar for sifting over the bars
- Preheat the oven to 350F and center oven rack.
- Spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray and line both ways with 2 sheets of aluminum foil, spray again.
- Place the flour, oats, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the chilled butter and pulse until the butter forms small oatmeal flake like pieces throughout the dry ingredients.
- Place the crust from the food processor into the prepared pan and gently but firmly press into the bottom, making as level as possible.
- Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes while making the filling.
- Place the sliced strawberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon sugar, if your berries need more sweetening add more sugar.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, zests and juices, set aside.
- Bake the oat-y shortbread crust for about 25 minutes, it should be light brown on the edges and firm to the touch.
- Remove the crust from the oven and scatter the strawberries evenly over the top.
- Pour the lemon lime mixture over the strawberries.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325F and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the top of the bars is firm.
- Remove from the oven to a metal rack, cool before cutting into squares and sifting powdered sugar over the top before serving.