This super simple recipe comes together in under a half hour and is ready to eat after a relatively brief one-hour chill time. If you’re like me and prefer to keep the dishes to a minimum, rinse your bowl well after making the crust and use again to make the curd. I’ve made them using my stand mixer, a hand mixer, and a stalwart old wooden spoon and whisk, and prefer the hand mixer for both speed and ease. The number of servings you get is entirely dependent on preference; quarter both ways for 16 smaller bites, etc.
Recipe adapted from Mrs. Eleanore Mickelson, the Chicago Daily Tribune, August 27, 1962 (Part 3, p. 12)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with two strips of parchment paper cut to fit, set crosswise, and leaving an inch or two above the rim.
- For the shortbread crust, cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar together until well mixed and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in 1 cup of the flour (save the 2 tablespoons for the curd) until no traces appear. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan, and bake for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, make the curd. Beat the eggs and the sugar together for about one minute, then beat in the lemon juice and zest followed by the salt, baking powder, and remaining 2 tablespoons flour.
- Once the shortbread has been in the oven for 10 minutes, pour the curd mixture on top, tilting the pan as needed to fully cover the base. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Do not overbake.
- Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then use the parchment sling to remove the bars from the pan. Let cool for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
- Best cold or chilled.
Jessica Reed is a writer, baker, artist, and historian obsessed with the history and culture of cake. She is the author of The Baker’s Appendix (Clarkson Potter, 2017) and just left the North East Coast after 15 years for the North West Coast. She is happy to still be baking at sea level.