These Hibiscus Lemon Bars are insanely good — imagine a perfect lemon bar infused with the bright berry flavor of hibiscus. Can you say vitamin C?
Have you had hibiscus tea? It’s made with deep red hibiscus petals, and it’s got a tart berry flavor that I just love. If you’ve ever had Red Zinger tea, you know what I’m talking about. It’s got so much vitamin C that it’s used it to fight off colds and flu but I like it here for that gorgeous shade of pink and its tangy, slightly herby flavor. I basically made a cold brew of fresh squeezed lemon juice and hibiscus for a subtle but delicious twist on my favorite lemon bars.
I don’t know anybody who can resist these, my mouth is watering just looking at the photos. I’ve always loved the idea of a pink lemon bar, but other recipes that include strawberries are just too sweet for me. If I’m going to go to the trouble to make a lemon dessert I want it to be LEMONY! So take note, lemon purists — these bars are super tart, the hibiscus doesn’t neutralize the lemon, it just enhances it.
I used the basic proportions from Ina Garten’s lemon bars for these Hibiscus Lemon Bars. You can double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp dried hibiscus or hibiscus tea
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- confectioner's sugar
- Set oven to 350F
- Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together. I did this in my stand mixer. Add in the flour and salt, and mix just until combined. Press the dough into a 9x9 baking pan. I lightly flour my fingers so they don't stick to the dough. Press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes until it is just lightly browned. Set it aside to cool, but leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile make the filling. Stir the hibiscus into the lemon juice and let sit for 15 minutes until it is a dark pink color. Then strain it and discard the hibiscus.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until well blended. Stir in the lemon juice and then blend in the flour.
- Pour the filling over the crust and return to the oven to bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the center of the filling is set and not jiggly.
- Let cool fully before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
- You can use any type of good hibiscus tea for this, but the more hibiscus flowers in the formulation, the better. If you only have bagged tea, tear it open and use the loose tea.
- I love the touch of vanilla in the crust, it’s surprisingly good with the lemon.
- I line my pan with parchment so I can lift out the bars and cut them neatly. Just be sure to chill them before you attempt to remove them.
- These are good. :)
My gorgeous lemons were sent to me from the Limoneira ranch here in Southern California. They’re one of the pioneers of the California citrus industry and they’ve been growing lemons and other fruit since 1893, making them one of the oldest and largest citrus growers in the country. If you have trouble finding Meyer lemons in your local area you can buy them direct from Limoneira, here. They make wonderful gifts, too.
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