Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lemon Curd Shortbread

It must be the month for lemons as I seem to be buying a lot more than usual and coming up with recipes that uses them. I had actually made the lemon curd with the intention of frosting the layers of a cake. Unfortunately I never got down to baking the cake and had wanted to use the curd for something simple. I guess the simplest option would have been to leave the curd in its original state and use it as a bread spread. But I decided to try a version of lemon slice, a lemon curd shortbread which I came across. The curd was already done, so I just needed to bake the shortbread.

The shortbread took me about 6 minutes to put together ... I kid you not. The baking and cleaning up took the most time. I took some to office and had everyone raving for. One of my colleagues who I didn't know was given a piece to try, came up to me and said "can I have some more"! I gave him a weird look as I had no clue as to what he was asking at first but I did promise him 3 helpings if I were to make it again in the future. By the way, my hubby loved it and for someone who doesn't eat cakes or cookies, that says so much!

Lemon Curd Shortbread
Adapted from The Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar Recipe

For the Shortbread

141g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp icing sugar
2 Tbsp white granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


1) Pre-heat oven to 162C (325F).

2) In a large bowl, cream butter with the icing and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add all the flour to butter and mix quickly with fingers until dough compacts into very large, loose crumbs with all the flour absorbed. Do not over handle the mixture and do not be concerned that the dough does not form a ball.

3) Empty dough into an 8 inch by 8 inch metal baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil (do not grease the foil) long enough to extend beyond pan from one side to the opposite. This will serve as the handles to easily lift the shortbread from the pan after it has cooled and is ready to cut. Lightly and evenly press and pat dough into pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake on center rack of oven for 30 minutes or until dough is biscuit golden but not browned.

4) Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 149C (300F). Pour and smooth lemon curd (recipe follows) on top of shortbread, returning it to oven to bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow pan to cool completely before transferring pan to refrigerator, chilling a minimum of ½ hour before carefully lifting shortbread from pan to a cutting board, keeping foil intact.

5)Carefully cut shortbread into squares with a long knife. The lemon curd will cut clean since it has had time to set. Dust squares with powdered sugar (optional).

For the Lemon Curd

2 Tbsp finely minced lemon zest (about 2 medium lemons)
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 large whole eggs, lightly beaten
113g unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 medium lemons)


1) Whisk all ingredients together in a medium stainless steel saucepan.

2) Place the saucepan on the stove and turn on heat to medium (or medium-low if you are more timid). Stir constantly with a whisk until it starts to thicken a little. Make sure you are standing by your stove the entire time. Do not and absolutely do not move away from the stove!

3) Once it starts to thicken, switch to a large flat-bottom spatula and stir frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom of pan so that the curd thickens evenly without burning the bottom.

4) Continue to stir and cook until very thick on a low to medium fire. This will take about 15 minutes or so.

5) Strain the curd through a metal sieve (to get a very smooth curd) into a bowl.

6) Cover with plastic wrap right on the surface of the curd (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill.

7) You make the lemon curd ahead of time. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container or sterilized bottle.


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos and the shortbread looks just scrumptious!

Ingrid said...

The photos are outstanding! If I wasn't already a fan I would be now. Can I have 3 pieces, too from the next one you make? Okay, just one? Please?!

Joie de vivre said...

Gorgeous pictures Jo! I love lemon squares and these look the same. I'm sure they rocked!

camelia said...


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Natashya said...

Ohh, that does look delish! And what a pretty little plate, too.

Laurie said...

This looks really yummy! I think you can give Michael Ruhlman a run for his money! :) (He did lemon bars on March 30th.)

Dragon said...

I love desserts with lemon and yours looks so good. :)

oneordinaryday said...

This looks so good! I'm trying it out first thing tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe.

Elyse said...

What a perfect way to use up the lemon curd. I mean, the buttery, slightly sandy shortbread paired with the tart, creamy lemon curd? Sounds like heaven to me!

Mar said...

Maravillosa receta!, impecable presentaciĆ³n y seguramente deliciosasssssss!!!, felicitaciones

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