Base recipe adapted from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)
Makes approximately 18 – 20 squares.
- Icing sugar (for dusting)
For the Shortbread Base
- 227g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 110g caster sugar
- Seeds from half of a vanilla pod
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 280g plain flour (sieved)
For the Lemon Filling
- 6 extra-large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 230ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 660g caster sugar
- 140g plain flour (sieved)
Instructions: (Shortbread Base)
- Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla pod and salt until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.
- Sieve the plain flour and add to your mixture. Using a spatula or the lowest setting on your electric mixer combine the flour into the mixture until just incorporated.
- Gather the dough and make into a ball.
- Put the dough into a lined 9 x 13 by 2-inch baking pan, using floured hands flatten the shortbread base until evenly distributed.
- Prick the dough all over using a fork, this will help any trapped air escape.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes.
- Whilst the dough chills in the fridge, preheat your oven to 175°C.
- Once chilled, bake your shortbread crust in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until very lightly browned.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack, meanwhile make the lemon filling.
Instructions: (Lemon Filling)
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and plain flour until well combined.
- Pour the filling over the cooled shortbread base.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove kitchen foil and let it bake uncovered for the last remaining 10 minutes until the filling is set.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack prior to cutting.
- Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar before enjoying.
- Extra-large eggs are sometimes also known as ”very large eggs” in supermarkets.
- When trying to determine whether or not the filling is set; it is important to mention that a slight jiggle in the middle is normal. Once the lemon bars are fully cooled this should help the filling completely set.
- Avoid baking this recipe in a loose-bottomed pan as this can sometimes lead to the filling leaking!