Homemade Lemonade Concentrate = Perfect Lemonade

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If you have a mature lemon tree in your yard like my parents do, then I bet you’ve got lemons coming out of your ears.  My parents were nice enough to share their abundance of lemons with me.

As the cliche goes, the best thing to do when you have lemons really is to make lemonade!  And this is the recipe you want to use.

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Start with a quart mason jar and add in the zest of one lemon.

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Juice the lemons until you get one and a half cups of pure lemon goodness.

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One tip for your electric juicer is to place a grippy sheet thingy under it so it doesn’t run around all over your kitchen counter tops.  No one wants a crazy juicer running around, ya know!

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Next, add the juice to the zest in the jar.

Marvel at how the cute little bits of zest swim around in that lovely juice.

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Add your sugar to a small pot.

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Then add the water and place it on medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved.  Good job, you’ve just make simple syrup!

 

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Add the simple syrup to the jar and allow it to steep until all the flavors combine and cool down.  It’s ready to use once it’s cooled.

To make lemonade from this concentrate, combine 1 cup of concentrate to 3 cups of cold water into a pitcher.  Then, pour over a glass of ice and enjoy the fruits of your labor………literally!!

Also, because this concentrate looks so lovely and fits so nicely into a mason jar, it also makes a great gift!

 

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

Zest from one lemon

1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice

 

Measure the sugar and water into a sauce pan. While stirring with a wooden spoon, bring the mixture to a boil until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let cool slightly.

Add fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest to the sugar syrup.  Allow it to cool. Pour the lemonade syrup into a quart jar. Cover tightly with the lid. The syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 weeks.

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Lemon Bars

Just looking at this lemon bar right now makes the floodgates of my salivary glands open up.

Excuse me as I wipe the drool off my face.  *wipe wipe*  Okay, I’m ready.

The sour creaminess of the lemon custard really compliments the crispy sweet crust so well too.

So, if you’ve read most of my posts, you can see I try Ina Garten’s recipes quite a bit.  I mean, she is the Barefoot Contessa after all.  What does that mean anyway?

The closest I’ve been to a barefoot anything is barefoot and pregnant.  Does that count for anything?

You gotta start with good ripe lemons.  These are the main ingredient, so they’ve gotta be good.

Juice those babies up!

Start with the dry ingredients.

Add in the eggs and juice.

You can tell I really got my fingers into the dough.

Bake the crust and make sure it’s nice and cooled before you pour in the filling.

Here’s the filling all baked up and nicely cooled.  The parchment paper was giving me some problems, so I ended up having to tape them to the outside of the pan to keep them from falling into the lemon filling.

Get out your fairy dust (powdered sugar) and sweeten the top of the lemon bars.

Enjoy these sweet and tangy squares of deliciousness!

Lemon Bars

from Ina Garten

For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.