Warning: May be Habit Forming

I’m not kidding. This dessert is seriously addictive in both its original form and my adapted version. Either way, I don’t know if I can ever get enough. It all started when Greg over at Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide linked to this recipe. I had never been a big fan of lemon bars, but I needed a dessert that was easy to serve at a potluck and as we learned from our Minnesota cooking adventure, bars were the way to go. So since it was my first time making these and I was about to feed them to other people, I had to sample them. Then I had to eat the ones that didn’t cut out of the pan quite right. Then at the dinner, I got in the dessert line as fast as I could hoping anxiously that there would be a few left by the time it was my turn. Then I filled my plate with my own homemade dessert – nothing else. I think I have a problem, and all it took was one bite.

I was still thinking about those lemon bars last week when I came across this recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Tarts. I had a brainstorm – what if I added strawberries to my new favorite dessert. So I did. I used the original recipe for the crust.

It’s a short bread crust that on its own is delicious. You mix all the ingredients together in the bowl and then press it down into a greased baking dish.

The crust is then baked for 20 minutes at 300F. While the crust is baking and cooling, it’s time to prepare the topping. Again, I followed the original recipe but instead of mixing it all together in a bowl, I placed it in the food processor with two cups of strawberries. Once the crust was cool, I poured the topping over it and baked it at 300F for an hour.

The original recipe suggests baking for 40 minutes, or until the topping sets, but since the strawberries add volume to the custard it takes a bit longer. Now this part is going to be different too – I placed the bars in the freezer after they cooled. Since they’re top-heavy the custard doesn’t sit too well on top of the bar at room temperature. I know because of course I had to sample some when they first cooled.

When I served the bars they were cold, but not yet frozen. They were wonderful, but melted quickly. No matter…they were awesome! It was like eating strawberry lemonade in a cake form.

After our barn raising I had about 6 bars worth left. I put them back into the freezer and have snacked on them all week. They are amazing. I cut one bar, put it in a bowl, let it thaw for a few minutes and then dig in. Amazingly I have shown some restraint and only eaten one each day. That said, I’ve also not told anyone they’re in the freezer and have kept them all to myself. Obviously they’re not going to be addictive to everyone, but I feel a sort of moral obligation to warn you of this dessert’s addictive potential. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the freezer. 😉

26 thoughts on “Warning: May be Habit Forming

  1. Charles says:

    “It was like eating strawberry lemonade in a cake form” – yummy! I can’t visualise the consistency though… does the custard make it soft and gooey all over, or des the base stay crispy…?


    • ChefMom says:

      It’s soooo yummy. The crust stays dense – like a cookie. It’s not softened at all by the custard. The custard if left at room temperature will run all over the place – almost like a fruit curd. But refrigerated it stays like a regular lemon bar (but melts quickly), and frozen it’s almost like a sorbet.


  2. Kathryn says:

    I am chuckling here because you hid the bars in your freezer. I think we all do that with something– my weakness is cookie dough. Every time I make a batch of cookies I save a 1/4 cup of dough in the produce drawer of the fridge so that I can sneak raw cookie dough throughout the week. 🙂


    • ChefMom says:

      If you’re going to have them outside I’d make the straight-up lemon version. I topped each bar with a raspberry when I made those. If you’re able to keep them very cold, then the strawberry version would work. I suggest serving the strawberry version with a fork or spoon as well. Either option is delicious!


    • ChefMom says:

      The crust is delicious! I’m not sure to be happy that you posted this recipe or curse you. LOL. 😉 I LOVE it. Cold is definitely the way to go with the strawberry version.


  3. thefooddoctor says:

    Oh I have been meaning to try these ever since Greg posted them…I have a low fat version of lemon bars from cooking light I usually use but these look so tempting that I must give them a try!


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