Pink peppercorn lemon bars

When life gives you lemon bars add pink peppercorn!

This is the ultimate spring baking recipe! Pink Peppercorn Lemon Soda adds complexity and brightness to standard lemon bars. It's springy, exciting, upbeat, and delicious. Perfect for afternoons at home. 

For the crust: 

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour

 

For the filling: 

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 eggs
3 tbsp flour
¾ cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
1 tbsp pink peppercorns (optional)
 Powdered sugar for dusting  

 

1)    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.

2)    Make the crust: combine butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and flour in a medium bowl and stir until well-combined. Press into the bottom of the baking dish, and then freeze for 5-10 minutes.

3)    Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are just starting to turn golden brown.

4)    Meanwhile, make the filling: pour soda into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to ¼ cup.

5)    Whisk the flour and sugar together, followed by the lemon zest. Add eggs, lemon juice, and soda and whisk together until well-combined.

6)    Crush the pink peppercorns if using, separate out and discard the seeds. Stir the pink outer shells into the filling.

7)    Pour filling onto the warm crust and bake again for 18-20 minutes, or until filling is mostly set with just a little wiggle in the middle.

8)    Let cool and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.