Master this recipe and you’ve got two for one — lemon curd (the topping) and shortbread (the base). The lemon curd here is sort of a quick-and-dirty version, so you don’t have to boil it first. Just stir together and bake. I’m a die-hard chocoholic for most of the year, but I actually prefer lemon bars in the height of summer because the citrus flavor is lighter and more refreshing in the heat. — H. Weal
3/4 cup (128 grams) flour
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
medium (3-quart) mixing bowl
8-inch square baking pan
whisk, or fork
1. Set oven to 325 degrees. Combine all SHORTBREAD ingredients in medium bowl. Beat together until well-blended and crumbly.
2. Spread and press down dough evenly into pan.
3. Bake until edges are lightly golden brown – about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine LEMON CURD ingredients as follows: Whisk together sugar and flour. Add eggs and lemon juice, then beat all together until well-blended.
4. Pour lemon curd mixture over shortbread crust. Bake until curd is set – about 12 minutes.
5. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
NOTES & TIPS
• 2 lemons yield about 1/4 cup lemon juice.
• If using bottled unsweetened lemon juice, check that the ingredient list does not include lemon oil, which tends to make the juice taste more like floor cleaner than fruit.