I’ve wanted to share this recipe for a while as I’m a huge devotee to lemon deserts. Lemon bars, also known as lemon squares, seem to have fallen out of fashion for some reason. Yet when I recently baked them for my friends and neighbours their feedback was “One of your best so far! When are you putting the recipe up?” So here it comes, your wish is my command!
These delicious and VERY lemony squares are basically crunchy shortbread crust with a butter-free lemon curd filling. Think of them as a square, creamy lemon pie cut up. The melt-in-the-mouth lemon curd is wonderfully gooey as opposed to thick and rubbery as with so many other recipes. To achieve this perfectly gooey consistency, timing is of crucial importance.
First of all, to save time, you may be tempted to prepare the lemon curd during the 20 minutes when the shortbread crust is in the oven and then leave it on the counter waiting. Well, DON’T, otherwise sugar and eggs will start reacting with each other. Zest and juice the lemons instead, weigh out the remaining ingredients but don’t combine them until the very last minute. Secondly, bake the cake for only 25 minutes; baking it for longer may result in a slightly rubbery thin layer on top of the curd. (In which case dust it with A LOT of icing sugar, no one will know.😊) Lastly, leave the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours for the filling to set and thicken up slightly before you attempt to cut it. This is the most challenging part I always struggle with, the wait while the whole house still smells of lemons!
In terms of sweetness, you may be thinking that 400g sugar is way too much but you do need it to offset the sourness of both the lemon juice and the rind. Happy baking!
Makes about 16 squares
(square baking tin 23cm x 23cm)
For the shortbread crust:
For the lemon filling:
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