During the summer months, I love making homemade lemonade with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice, some ice cubes, and sweetener shaken up in a cocktail shaker. I like to mix it up by adding either mint simple syrup, sliced strawberries, and honey. My favorite? Adding raspberry puree. Hello, pink lemonade!
And then I got to thinking.... What about raspberry lemonade bars? A sweet and tart twist on the ol' classic dessert.
You can't beat a tried and true recipe. And while there will always be room for the classics, like lemon bars, sometimes you have to spice it up a little. These pretty pink versions take summer BBQs, casual get togethers, and afternoon tea time to the next level. All we do is replace some of the lemon juice for some strained, bright raspberry puree and we have an instant upgrade.
These Raspberry Lemonade Bars are vibrant, tart, and sweet. They have a rich, buttery, shortbread crust and a generous topping of raspberry-lemon goodness. Add more or less raspberry puree to your liking — just make sure the total amount of juice remains constant. Increase the raspberry for a brighter pink variation, or add just a splash for subtly sweeter treat. Finish off the bars with a considerable shake of confectioner's sugar and enjoy.
Raspberry Lemonade Bars
Makes 12 bars
For the shortbread base:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
For the curd:
1 cup raspberries
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 35o°F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, lemon zest, and salt, and mix until everything starts to come together. The ingredients should be evenly mixed, but may still be a bit crumbly.
Press mixture evenly into the pan. Bake until slightly golden, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree the raspberries. Strain out the seeds using a mesh sieve. You should have about 1/3 cup puree — scoop out 1/4 cup for the recipe; the remainder can be used for something else.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the sugar, lemon juice, flour, salt, and 1/4 cup raspberry puree, and mix until combined.
Once the crust is done, pour raspberry-lemon mixture into the baked crust. Return pan to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are set and center does not jiggle.
Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing. Cut into bars or wedges, and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving. Use the parchment to lift the bars from the pan.
- Add more or less raspberry puree to your liking — just make sure the total amount of juice remains 3/4 cup total. Increase the amount of raspberry for a brighter pink variation, or add just a splash for subtly sweeter treat.
(Image credits: Tessa Huff)