Lemon Crunch Bars are a no-bake dessert that harkens back to simpler days, and less complicated food — you probably already have everything on hand to make these tangy treats.
These bars have an easy going, vintage vibe, and they can be prepped for the fridge in the time it takes to melt a little butter and whip up the cream. The ‘crunch’ comes from the crushed gingersnaps that make up the crust. The combination of the cool fluffy topping and the ‘snappy’ crust is wonderful.
Ginger and lemon is a striking flavor combination that you see more often in savory dishes than you do in desserts. Neither ingredient plays second fiddle here, the peppery gingersnaps hold their own with the lemon, and the two are quite a zesty pair. The topping has a full 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice in it, so it’s no slouch in the citrus department. As for the gingersnaps, use any you like — I discovered Tates and fell in love, but they ‘disappeared’ before I could use them in this recipe. Plain old gingersnaps work fine, too ;)
This is a great choice for entertaining because you can make them ahead of time, and they’re light and refreshing even after a big meal. Nobody will push these away, for sure.
These Lemon Crunch Bars have been adapted from The Guardian.
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (this is about 8 ounces of cookies)
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (you can also use 'whipping cream')
- slightly more than 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 small drop yellow food coloring, optional
- gingersnap crumbs
- Spray an 9x9 square baking dish. I like to line mine with parchment paper with long ends hanging off so I can lift it out after chilling for neater cutting, but that's optional.
- Toss the melted butter with the gingersnap crumbs until the crumbs are completely saturated. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Press firmly, but no need to steam roller them ;) Set the pan in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Whip the cream until you get firm peaks. don't whip it too long or it will get grainy and eventually turn to butter. Fold in the condensed milk, lemon juice, and drop of food coloring.
- Spread the filling into the pan and spread out evenly.
- Set the pan in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Garnish with a few gingersnap crumbs.
- The combo of ginger and lemon is what makes these simple Lemon Crunch Bars so special, so I don’t recommend substituting graham cracker crumbs in the crust.
- These have a soft creamy consistency. Keep them refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Ever wonder about the difference between ‘heavy’ and ‘whipping’ cream? Heavy cream is just slightly higher in fat, but both can be whipped.
- This would make a nice pie, as well. I would use a 7 or 8 inch pie plate, increase the butter to 1 stick, and the crumbs to 2 cups.