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Cactus Pear Lemon Bars

I love a good lemon bar. They’re slightly tart, slightly sweet, and adding fresh cactus puree to the mix add enough of a twist to make them even better!

Recipe by Esteban Castillo

Esteban is the voice behind Chicano Eats. Esteban created Chicano Eats when he noticed there was a lack of Latino representation in the food blogging space. Esteban strives to create visibility, educate and provide context behind authentic dishes, and also strives to redefine how people in the U.S view Mexican food, presenting dishes with a very vibrant and minimalistic treatment. 

Serves: 16
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins


For the Crust

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp cactus pear puree

To Garnish

  • confectioners sugar for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease and line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Turn the speed down to low and add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Press the dough into the pan into an even layer, making sure it is pressed up against the sides. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the filling.

3. To make the filling whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour and salt until combined. Add the lemon juice and prickly pear puree and whisk just until combined. Pour the filling onto the baked crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is just set and the top is golden brown. Let the bars cool completely before lifting out of the pan and cutting into squares. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve.