Lemon Limoncello Bars with Sugared Blackberries

The Hubby’s family had a little BBQ because his Aunt and Uncle from Toronto were in town. Since that side of the family is all Italian, I wanted to make a citrus summer dessert with an Italian twist. I think everyone likes lemon squares, and I had a bottle of limoncello still in the freezer, so I decided to search for a limoncello square dessert.

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I also just bought blackberries and needed to use them. They weren’t as sweet as I wanted, so I decided to make them sugared. It was a great coating! The little suckers just burst in your mouth since they have a sugar shell. Yum.

I got the recipe from Squirrel Bakes. It’s such a good recipe, these are very lemony, has the perfect soft texture, and a delicious shortbread crust. I will say though, I can’t taste the limoncello, but I guess it’s not that different than lemon. Maybe I’ll try more limoncello over the lemon juice next time.

Lemon Limoncello Bars with Sugared Blackberries

Lemon Limoncello bars from SquirrelBakes.com

Yield:  one 9×13” pan

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Lemon Limoncello

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cup granualted sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon jssuice
  • 1/4 cup limoncello

Sugared Blackberries

  • Fresh blackberries (or any fruit), washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 egg whites or meringue powder made using the egg white formula
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Granulated sugar

Directions:

For the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. For the crust, cream butter and sugar till smooth. In a separate bowl whisk flour and salt, then add to butter mixture just until combined. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten dough into pan, building up on the edges. Chill if time permits.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let crust cool on wire rack.

For the Lemon Limoncello

  1. For the filling, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and limoncello.
  2. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake for 35 minutes. The filling should be set at this point.
  3. Let cool at room temperature, cut, and dust with confections’ sugar.

For the Sugared Blackberries

  1. Whisk together egg whites and water. With a fine basting brush, paint a thin coat of egg white on berry. Put sugar into a bowl and roll fruit in sugar for a thin coat.
  2. Set on a cooling rack to dry completely (will take a couple hours). Sugared fruit will slightly harden when dry.

I love this recipe and this is a great summer citrus dessert and crowd pleaser. I’m making this again for sure!

First start with the crust by creaming the butter and sugar.

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Then add the flour and salt.

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It will be crumbly, but come together a little. I didn’t follow directions and instead of lumping it in a ball, I just spread the crumbles in the pan. This is how I’ve always done lemon bars, so I figured it’d work for these.

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Then press the crumbles down into the pan until it’s relatively flat.

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DSC_0593_webAnd then make your lemon limoncello filling. I had some in my freezer – Caravella. I’m sure any limoncello works.

DSC_0594_webThen add your lemon zest and other lemony ingredients…

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DSC_0602_webAnd fill the pan.

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DSC_0605_webCarefully place it in the middle rack of the oven. My browned slightly on top.

DSC_0612_webAllow it to cool completely before cutting. Now, I wish I cut it first before sprinkling the powdered sugar. I didn’t and a lot of the powdered sugar kept coming off. So do yourself a favor and cut them first, then powder them.

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DSC_0626_webNow for the sugared blackberries. Wash them thoroughly while the lemon bars are baking.

DSC_0607_webAnd dry thoroughly.

DSC_0608_webMake the egg white mixture. I used meringue powder because I didn’t want to use raw egg whites.

DSC_0613_webThen coat the blackberries with the egg white mixture.

DSC_0619_webThen roll it in sugar or sprinkle the sugar on top for a lighter coat.

DSC_0620_webDry on the drying rack.

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If you know me, then you know I like to jazz it up a little and not always do squares. I bought this round cookie cutter with ridges and really wanted to use it. Plus, I get to eat the scraps…

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Then dress up your lemon bars with some sugared blackberries.

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Enjoy with a small shot of limoncello for best results.

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