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Lemon Shortbread Bars Two Magpies Bakery by Rebecca Bishop (£26.00, Headline Home)
September 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

Mouth-puckeringly sharp, this baked lemon curd on a crunchy shortbread base is best served chilled and prettily dusted with icing sugar

These are popular all year round with our customers - in fact, one of our regulars was so addicted she even underwent hypnosis to curb her craving (this is a true story!). This recipe works well with gluten-free flour, too.
Prep time:
30 minutes
Baking time:
30–40 minutes
Chilling time:
2 hours–overnight
  • For the shortbread base
  • 170g plain (or gluten-free) flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 140g melted unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • For the lemon filling
  • 4 lemons, preferably unwaxed
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 40g cornflour
  • 5 eggs
  • 90g melted unsalted butter
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

Start with the shortbread base, weighing your flour, sugar and a generous pinch of fine table salt into a bowl and whisking to combine. Gradually pour the melted butter onto the dry ingredients and add the vanilla, mixing with a spatula until it clumps together to form a rough dough (or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on slow speed).

Press the dough evenly into a greased and lined 23cm x 23cm x 5cm square baking tin (if you’re using a loose-bottomed tin make sure it’s fully lined so the liquid mix doesn’t seep out). Bake for 10–15 minutes until firm and dry to the touch, though still very pale in colour. Remove and fully cool.

Reduce the oven heat to 175C/155C fan/gas 3½.

Wash the lemons thoroughly. Slice two of the lemons into rings, 3mm thick, and remove the pips. Place the slices into a blender and grind to a pulp.

Add the sugar and cornflour and continue until you have a fine purée. Juice the remaining two lemons and add this juice to the blender along with the eggs, melted butter and a generous pinch of salt. Pulse briefly to combine.

Place the tin with the shortbread base into your oven, keeping the door open. Carefully pour the lemon mix over the shortbread base and bake for 20–25 minutes until firm. The lemon layer should be set but not browned.

Cool, then chill in the fridge. Once firm, carefully remove from the tin, dust heavily with icing sugar and cut into bars.

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