The Importance Of A Pastry Blender

Last weekend I thought I would try out a new dessert. I found a recipe on Pinterest for Cheesecake Lemon Bars and decided to try them. I am not a huge fan of lemon but I wanted something different. The first step of this recipe involves making the crust for the bars using flour, powdered sugar and cold butter. The recipe said to cut the butter in using a pastry blender or a fork. I do not have a pastry blender so I tried using a fork……mistake. I could not get it crumbly enough. I used what I could to press into my baking dish as the crust and had to end up throwing half of the flour/sugar mixture away. I baked it in the oven per the recipe and it was a completely uneven crust. The middle wasn’t too bad but the edges were very sparse and the whole thing was way too thin. I decided to make the fillings anyway and finish the bars. It consisted of making the lemon layer then the cheesecake layer, pouring them on top of the pathetic crust and baking them in the oven.

Despite the almost nonexistent crust layer, these bars are pretty good. The lemon layer ended up running a little but that was because of the thin crust. I’m pretty sure these would have been out of this world if the crust had been done properly using a pastry blender. I don’t know why I never bought one, they are pretty cheap. Needless to say, it is now on my shopping list.

Cheesecake Lemon Bars

original recipe:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Whisk together 1 1/2 cup flour and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared baking dish to form a crust.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.

Whisk together 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl. Pour lemon mixture into the prepared crust. Skim off any bubbles from the surface of the filling. Mix the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar in a bowl until well blended. Whisk in 2 eggs, then spread over the lemon mixture. The mixtures will separate during baking.

Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is set, about 30 minutes.


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