Christmas Baking — Lemon Bars


15 Dec Christmas Baking — Lemon Bars


This family favourite is the ultimate lemon bar. I wrote about these last year after we extensively taste-tested several variations. Bakers should feel free to click the link to get the recipe. The morbidly curious might be interested in last year’s post to see the flash-bleached photo I was so danged proud of.

What a difference a year makes. Same camera. Same photographer. What changed? I now shoot in natural light and have more than 6500 practice shots behind me.

While the squares taste the same as last year, this shot shows off their translucent quality much better than the photo in my 2007 post. Today’s early afternoon sunlight captures the brilliant yellow glow I adore and hints at its clear, full-on lemon taste.


This simple bar has two layers. A shortbread bottom that provides a delicious yet unobtrusive base, and a lemon custard that bakes to crinkle-topped perfection.


Not too sweet, not to tart. They’re just right. They’re also the ideal accompaniment to a cup of tea.

Darn! Should have thought of that while I was shooting.

Oh well, there’s always room for improvement. Especially behind the camera.


No Comments
  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 17:34h, 15 December Reply

    Nice work on the photos today – you’re right. You’re becoming a much better photographer!

  • Laura
    Posted at 18:14h, 15 December Reply

    I agree with Dana. The photos on the original post looked good enough to eat–but these ones have me checking to see if I have the ingredients to make these right now. (Forget the chicken in the oven. Must have lemon bars…) Unfortunately, I’m a lemon short so we’ll have to settle for dinner tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 21:15h, 15 December Reply

    I definitely didn’t acquire a taste for lemon desserts until I became an adult, but now that I’m older I appreciate their sweet-tart balance. And it’s a good thing, too, as my lemon tree is going gangbusters this year. Not much bigger than a shrub, the dwarf tree is amazingly fertile!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 00:11h, 16 December Reply

    Like ladles in your soup pictures, the lemons in the background make for a nice composition. The bars do look yummy! I’m adding them to my Christmas baking list.

    – jj

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 00:43h, 16 December Reply

    Dana, thanks. I’m not there yet but the difference really shocked me so I thought I’d have some fun and share.

    Laura, let me know how the squares turn out.

    Cheryl, I envy your lemon tree. I’d be making lemon pie and all sorts of citrusy desserts if I had fresh lemons out my back door.

    JJ, thanks for noticing the lemons. I can’t promise props each shot, but it was fun to play with the composition.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 16:47h, 23 December Reply

    I tried out the lemon bar recipe; never have I had such compliments about a dessert before. The entire pan was gone so quickly that I must make another batch for the next round of family! Even my daughter (10) said “you should bake more often: you’re really good at it”. High praise as I am a terrible baker!

    Thank you! It’s on the top 5 list.

    – jj

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 23:06h, 23 December Reply

    JJ, thanks so much for the update. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that your lemon bars were a smash success.

    Bask in the glory! You are now officially a “baker”.

  • jodi
    Posted at 17:09h, 29 December Reply

    Another family favourite thanks to you, Charmian. I was going to make them for Christmas but didn’t get to it. Hubby devoured most of the last batch I made and said they were the best ever–and he used to make huge sheets of them when he cooked on the gypsum ship.

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