close-up photo of H. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealMaster 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

128 grams (about 3/4 cup) flour
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
57 grams (about 1/4 cup) sugar

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup lemon juice

medium (3-quart) mixing bowl
kitchen scale
measuring cups
mixing spoon
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 10 minutes.
5. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

• 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.

40 minutes

12 bars