5 Tips for Making Lemon and Almond Shortbread Bars
You may have used lemon curd cakes and cookies after baking for years, but did you know that you have a heavenly piece of dessert when you bake it in? Well, this fantastic recipe teaches you exactly how to do that and get the perfect Lemon and Almond Shortbread Bars with that delicious custard-like texture.
Tip #1 – You can even make the lemon curd a few days in advance so that at the day of the party you don’t have to spend too much time baking. Even if you don’t end up needing the whole thing, the lemon curd can be used as a spread on toasts, between cookies or simply meet your comfort cravings when you spoon it out of the jar.
Tip #2 – Most lemon bar recipes will say that you can pour the lemon mixture directly onto the shortbread. Well you can but if you want that unique taste then try cooking it first on the stovetop until it thickens. This two-step process may be a little fussier than the rest but makes the lemon curd layer silkier, one that cuts clean and can also hold up outside of refrigeration longer.
Tip #3 – To make the lemon curd you will need eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, unsalted butter, salt to taste and powdered sugar for dusting. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, whisk hard and set aside. Now combine all the other ingredients and whisk them in a pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat. As the butter melts and mixture starts boiling remove the pan from the heat. Now slowly add this hot mixture into the beaten eggs till they are evenly mixed. Place the pan back on heat and let it simmer while you whisk constantly. Do this till the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, pour the curd into a bowl and cover with a layer of Saran Wrap. You can do this and refrigerate 3-4 days ahead.
Tip #4 – Just to make the shortbread on its own go ahead and prepare the dough so that you can bake it as directed. Just make sure that you bake it for an extra five to ten minutes so that the top of the shortbread becomes slightly golden in color. You need to let it cool completely before you transfer it on to a cutting board. Now it is perfect for being cut into rectangles or squares, as you need them.
Tip #5 – The best thing about Lemon and Almond Shortbread Bars is that not just the curd, the whole dessert can be made ahead if you want. In fact, if you do so you might just get that perfect texture that most of us would envy. Few people know that they need a little time to set up which is why they often crumble and break when served immediately. But chilled, they not only make the perfect treat for a hot summer’s day but offer the perfect texture and consistency as well. Lemon bars chilled from the fridge will make for the perfect hostess gifts, just the right accompaniment for the impromptu tea party or any party you wish to host.
Written by Bambi Majumdar