Lemon Bar Surprise

SECRET INGREDIENT: zucchini

Lemon bars make a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up with tea. With zucchini stirred right into the lemon mixture, the snack becomes truly extraordinary.

Quick look

  • prep 20 min    cook 65 min
  • serves 16

Ingredients

    CRUST
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter or margarine
    FILLING
  • 8 to 10 cups (4 to 5 pounds) peeled, seeded, and cubed zucchini
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    How to make it   1 hour, 25 minutes

  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  • 2

    For crust, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine until crumbly. Reserve 3 cups.

  • 3

    Pat the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.

  • 4

    For filling, place the zucchini and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

  • 5

    Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes (mixture will be thin). Spoon over the crust, then sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake until golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

One More Notch!

For extra-lemony bars, add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon to the lemon juice and zucchini.

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