Lemon Bars With Brown Butter Raspberries

I know it sounds trite to say this, but I truly can’t believe we’re in the middle of August. This summer has been such a blur and it’s coming to an end in the matter of weeks. I couldn’t let the opportunity to use sweet summertime raspberries in one of my favorite dishes: lemon bars, pass me by.

The Ritz Cracker base is the perfect hint of salty, buttery goodness to balance the Meyer Lemons’ puckery sweetness. I know crackers seem like an odd base, I personally usually love to use graham crackers for other desserts but stay with me here, it’s a game changer in this recipe.

If you’re reading this thinking “I’m going to make this right now” first of all, great idea, but secondly I’ll warn you that the bars need at least two hours (overnight, preferably) to chill (don’t we all?) in the refrigerator prior to serving.

bright Meyer Lemons, they almost looked like oranges

What You’ll Need:

Lemon Bars

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, finely crushed into crumbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups crushed crackers)
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice from Meyer lemons (can use other)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Browned Butter Raspberries

4 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries


The How To:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. I did not and therefore, I now recommend 🙂

2. In a small bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes, until light golden on top.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks. Add sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt until combined. Pour the mix over the cracker crust. Return to the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes, until just set. Allow the bars to cool in the pan, then place in the fridge to cool completely, at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. To make the raspberries, add the butter to a skillet set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, around 2 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest. Gently toss the berries with the butter and spoon overtop the bars. I macerated the berries slightly with a fork to give it a tad more jammy texture.

5. Cut into lemon into bars. Before serving, spoon over the browned butter raspberries and enjoy!


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