These elegant shortbread lemon bars are slightly tart with the vibrant flavor of fresh lemons in a perfect melt in your mouth bar. This family-size recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy the abundantly inexpensive lemons that are available right now.
Gather your ingredients together, you’ll want to use freshly squeezed lemon juice in the recipe for the best flavor. While bottled juice will work, it’s not preferred.
The creamy sweet-tart lemon curd is particularly thick and rests upon a buttery shortbread crust. The trick to a flaky crust is in the cold butter pieces. As it melts while it bakes, it creates little pockets of air, making the crust both flaky and buttery.
Don’t leave out the vanilla extract, while unusual in shortbread, it imparts tremendous flavor.
While the delicious buttery shortbread is baking, prepare the luscious lemon curd filling. While the crust is still piping hot, pour the filling over the top, spreading it evenly.
Return to the oven to finish baking the delectable bars. Allow them to cool on a cooling rack for about half an hour prior to cutting. Finish them off by sprinkling them generously with powered sugar.
Shortbread Lemon Bars
2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon Tart Filling:
4 large eggs
2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, salt, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, then cut in butter until crumbly. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
While crust is baking, beat eggs in a large bowl until smooth; whisk in granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add baking powder to flour, stir to combine, add into the egg mix, whisking.
Pour mixture over HOT baked crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until filling is set.
Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar (a sifter works well!) and then cut into bars. Serve!