Lemon-Shortbread Bars

“The secret ingredient is always love.”  Unknown

Lemon Lovers rejoice!  This tart and sweet lemon custard baked on top of a layer of buttery shortbread is a perfect, easy springtime treat. One bite and you’ll be rewarded with a pucker-worthy burst of perfect tart-meets-sweet flavor. The bars can be made with Meyer lemons or regular lemons. Either way, they are delicious and a lovely quarantine pick-me-up.  

Lemon-Shortbread Bars

Adapted from Love and Olive Oil

Shortbread Layer:

1/4 cup (30g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
pinch kosher salt

Lemon Layer:

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed Meyer or regular lemon juice(I used regular lemons)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
powdered sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan or an 8″ round dish.  Line with  parchment paper.
Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until blended.  Press  into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes and the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven.

While shortbread is baking, wipe out mixing bowl. Combine eggs, egg yolk, and sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla to blend then adding the flour and baking powder, mixing until just incorporated.

Pour the lemon custard mixture over the hot shortbread, then return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Cut into 16 pieces.


Lemon and lilac, it’s a spring thing!

It’s not only the USPS that delivers during the pandemic. A sweet surprise for a lemon loving friend awaits.

Girl Holding Lemons, William Adolphe Bouguereau, 1899, Israel Museum

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