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,

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.

[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”20 min” cook_time=”65 min” serves=”16″ details=”” ]

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]

[ingredients-left]

    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

[/ingredients-left]
[ingredients-right]

    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

[/ingredients-right]
[/ingredients-list]

[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it ” time=”1 hour, 25 minutes”]

[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Preheat the oven to 375°F.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]For crust, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine until crumbly. Reserve 3 cups.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Pat the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]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.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]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.[/step-item]

[/step-list-wrapper]

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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Originally Published in Reader's Digest