Southern Living is one of my favorite magazines for several reasons. I love the pictures of the country homes with wrap around porches, the gardening tips from Grumpy Gardener, and most of all, the desserts. If you are looking for a scrumptious dessert, cookie, pie or cake recipe, Southern Living has some of the best I’ve ever made. This citrus bar recipe I adapted from their magazine and it’s truly delightful on all levels.
The crust on the bottom is similar to shortbread with an airy feel, and the lemon curd is made on the stove top and poured over the crust. Many lemon bar recipes create a liquidy citrus mixture and pour it over the top without creating a curd first, and for me, it just doesn’t have enough pop of lemony flavor. I think a true lemon curd adds to the decadent texture of these bars, and gives them the right citrusy bite. As for the crumb topping, it’s a quick combination of flour, powdered sugar and oats with a little more butter to create a superb crunchy balance after baking.
So if you have a love for citrus, these bars are right up your alley and won’t disappoint. I think they could replace any cake or pie at a family gathering or birthday and they would make great gifts too!
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons salt butter, diced
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice, about 4 lemons
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 extra large eggs
2 extra large yolks
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/3 cup rolled oats
(Makes 16 Squares)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For Crust – In a food processor, add flour, powdered sugar and salt. Pulse 10 times, until combined. Add diced butter and pulse again until coarse crumbs. Dump crust mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan. I like removable bottom pans, but if you don’t have one, place a piece of parchment paper in a regular 9-inch square pan, that extends over edges for easier lifting. Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and bake in oven for 15 minutes, remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
2. While crust is baking, make Lemon Curd – In a saucepan, add sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt. Heat on medium-low until simmering. Place eggs and yolks in a bowl, and whisk until frothy. Add 1/4 cup of warmed sugar to eggs, while continuing to whisk. Pour warmed egg mixture into sugar mixture and continue to whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, whisk until smooth.
3. Spread curd over baked crust until smooth. In a food processor add all Crumb Topping ingredients and pulse 5 times. Using your fingers, press the mixture together to form larger crumbs. Toss crumbs on top of curd, until covered.
4. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until crumbs are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours before slicing. Enjoy!