(12-ounce/340-gram) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
cups/350 grams granulated sugar
2 to 3
cup/30 grams all-purpose flour
teaspoon fine sea salt
large eggs, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- Make the cranberry filling: Combine the cranberries, 3/4 cup/150 grams sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Zest 2 of the lemons directly into the saucepan; reserve the lemons. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the berries burst and the mixture is jammy, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
- Make the crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with one large sheet of heavy aluminum foil, making sure there are no gaps or holes, then generously coat with cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the vanilla into the butter, then pour over the flour mixture. Stir until the dough comes together in a mass. Press into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown around the edges and dry and golden on top, 17 to 20 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, make the lemon filling: Squeeze the juice from the 2 zested lemons. You should have 1/2 cup. Squeeze the juice from another lemon, if needed.
- Whisk the flour, salt and remaining 1 cup/200 grams sugar in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and whisk gently just until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and stir gently with the whisk just until smooth.
- Let the crust cool for 5 minutes, then spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust. Carefully and slowly pour the lemon mixture on top to create two distinct layers.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is set, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 2 hours. Using the foil, slide the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 24 squares, wiping your knife between cuts for clean slices. If desired, sift confectioners’ sugar over the tops just before serving.