Lemon Shortbread Bars

INGREDIENTS:

Shortbread Base

10 T. Cold unsalted butter

2 T. powdered sugar

2 T. superfine sugar

1 c. all-purpose flour

 

Lemon Curd Topping        

4 large egg yolks

3/4 c. sugar

3 oz. lemon juice (about 1 lemons)

4 T. unsalted butter, softened

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. lemon zest

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 x 2 in. square pan with one strip of heavy duty tin foil.

FOR THE CRUST: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the two sugars together for 1 minute or so until the sugar is very fine. Add the butter and pulse until the sugar disappears. Add the flour and pulse until there are a lot of moist crumbly pieces and no dry flour particles remain. Dump the mixture into a plastic bag and press it together. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and briefly knead it until it holds together. Pat the dough into the prepared pan, and prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the top is pale golden - do not brown. After removing the shortbread crust from the oven, lower the heat to 300 degrees.  While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon curd.

FOR THE LEMON CURD: Have a strainer suspended over a bowl, ready, near the range. In a heavy non-corrodible saucepan, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until well-blended. Stir in the lemon juice, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 6 minutes, until thick and resembling hollandaise sauce.  The curd should thickly coat a wooden spoon but still be liquid enough to pour. A candy thermometer should read 196 degrees. The mixture will change from translucent to opaque and begin to take on a yellow color on the back of a wooden spoon. It must not be allowed to boil or it will curdle. (It will steam above 140 degrees - when steaming occurs, remove the pan briefly from the heat to prevent it from boiling.)

When the curd has thickened, pour it at once into the strainer. Discard the residue and stir in the zest. Pour over the shortbread crust and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack, and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Tia Rowland Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Realty 626.685.1114
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