Shortbread Lemon Curd Bars

Ah lemon curd, an old favourite of mine. I find myself going back to you over and over again. It’s almost like we’re drawn to each other, aren’t we?


Let’s not call it an obsession. If you look through the blog archives, you’ll have noticed that I used lemon curd in these crepes and these mini cheesecakes and I modified it to produce this passionfruit curd that I coincidentally also served with shortbread. Huh, strange.


This time I decided to switch it up a bit by cutting my bars into triangles because that’s so mainstream, move with the times guys! The non uniform size looks edgy and adds a new dimension to the basic lemon bars that we have come to know and love from the neighbourhood granny. These make a lovely addition to your 4 o’clock tea, but can also be served as a light dessert by giving it a quick burst in the microwave and serving with a dollop of cream or a big scoop of ice cream. Winning.


Shortbread Lemon Curd Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 and ½ cups softened butter
  • 3 tbsp rolled oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups homemade lemon curd, or storebought is fine too

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and icing sugar. Rub the butter into the dry mixture until you have a soft crumbly dough. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture, and dump the rest into the baking pan and press down into an even layer. Prick all over with a fork and bake 15 minutes or until it has just started turning golden brown.

Meanwhile, add the oats to the reserved shortbread and rub into the mixture. Once the base is done baking, remove from the oven and spread the lemon curd over the surface in an even layer. Layer on top with the remaining shortbread mixture. Bake for another 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and serving. Enjoy!

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Passion Fruit Curd + Irish Shortbread

Passion fruit/granadilla. Call it what you may, these fruits are the bomb.

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A lot of people ask where I get the ideas for recipes and how I put them together. If I’m being honest with you, there were 12 passion fruit sitting in my fridge and I had no idea what to do with them. I usually go with what I’m craving and try to create something that satisfies my tastebuds.

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I knew I wanted something sweet. That was the criteria. I’m pretty straightforward like that. I also knew that my father would murder me if those passion fruit were left to rot. I had been meaning to revisit the lemon curd recipe that I put on the blog earlier this year, so I figured that I would try it with passion fruit. You will notice a lot of similarities between the 2 recipes. Essentially, I just replaced the lemon juice with passion fruit pulp, cooked this curd directly in the saucepan, and added an extra egg. Not many differences at all if we’re talking about method.

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But if we’re talking taste, then we’re on 2 different planets. This curd is much sweeter than the lemon one, and there’s the extra crunch that comes from having the passion fruit seeds in the curd. Theoretically, you could choose to strain the seeds out if you’re not a fan, but then again, why would anyone want to?

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The great thing about passion fruit curd is that it has several uses. You can use it as a filling in cupcakes, as a spread for scones/toast or you can even spoon it on top of shortbread and bake for about 15 minutes to make these really rad passion fruit bars. You can mix up the shortbread any way you like by adding in a tablespoon of finely grated lemon rind, fresh fruit, cinnamon, nuts, chocolate chips or whatever you like really. I love recipes like this that are so versatile because you start with an overly simple base and you are free to decide what you want to come out of it.

Passion fruit curd                                                                             makes approx 3 cups

Ingredients

1 cup passionfruit pulp, about 8 granadillas

½ cup castor sugar

½ cup butter

6 egg yolks + 1 whole egg

2 tsp lemon juice

Irish shortbread

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups cornflour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter

Method 

Prepare the shortbread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease an 8 by 8 baking pan before lining with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour, sugar and salt. Briefly mix together with a wooden spoon. Cut the butter into the flours using your hands or a pastry cutter until you are left with a crumbly dough. Pat the dough into the baking pan before using a fork to poke holes into the shortberad. Bake for about 20 minutes or until just lightly browned.

Make the passion fruit curd: 

  1. In a medium saucepan on low heat, combine the passion fruit pulp*, sugar and butter and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved and the butter has melted.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg and mix until fully combined. Add one tablespoon of the egg mixture to the passion fruit and using a wire whisk, whisk for about 30 seconds until all combined. Repeat this step until all the egg mixture is combined. I know this seems tedious and long but we are trying to avoid cooking the eggs- lest we end up with passion fruit scramble.
  3. Once you’ve added all the egg mixture, stir in the lemon juice and cook the curd, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened significantly and coats the back of a spoon. It should be the consistency of mayonnaise.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the curd, spoon it into a glass jar and cover with plastic wrap, placing it right on the surface of the curd so that it doesn’t form a skin. Screw the lid onto the jar and refrigerate the curd for about half an hour or until cool.

BONUS:

Before you remove the shortbread from the pan, you can pour the passion fruit curd straight onto the warm shortbread and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or just until the curd has just set. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, slice and serve. You don’t have to perform this step, the curd can just be eaten spooned on top of the shortbread.

*If you don’t want seeds in your curd, you can strain the pulp before you start preparing this recipe.

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