What if life didn’t give us lemons? No lemonade, nothing to jazz up a roast chicken or grilled fish, and—perish the thought—no lemon bars? The sweet-tart confection is a perennial favorite for a reason. Brownies and blondies will always have their place, but, let’s face it, lemon bars have dimension. “Lemon is a refreshing flavor, and can be used to make desserts that are bright, full-flavored, and not heavy for the perfect ending to a meal,” says Andy Wolf, pastry chef at Blue Dog Bakery & Café in Louisville, Kentucky, who spiked his lemon curd with yuzu and folded sesame into the crust for a bar with an Asian twist. Over at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, Pastry Chef Dolester Miles, who admits a weakness for all things lemony, offers us her go-to classic version. Both are perfectly balanced, their citrus tang shining through a foundation of sugar and butter to renew our palates, and in this last stretch of winter, our spirits too.
From Pastry Chef Dolester Miles of Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, Alabama
From Pastry Chef Andy Wolf of Blue Dog Bakery & Café in Louisville, Kentucky
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Julia Miller
- by Robin Roenker
- by Maggie Ward