Not just a bake-sale and holiday favorite, these bright-yellow squares are a simple dessert bar that even an amateur baker can do well. A bit of tangy, sweet pucker from the melt-in-your-mouth lemon-curd top combines with a buttery-rich shortbread crust to make these bars darn irresistible. Makes about 30.
For the Crust:
• 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 2⁄3 cup powdered sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
• 1⁄3 tsp salt
• 12 Tbsp butter at cool room temperature, cut into 1” pieces
For the Filling:
• 4 large eggs
• 1¼ cups granulated sugar
• 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
•1⁄8 tsp salt
• 2 tsp grated lemon zest, from two large lemons
• 2⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 3 large lemons
• 1⁄3 cup milk
Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
Mix flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and process for 8 to 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Sprinkle the mixture into the greased pan and press into an even layer on the bottom and about ½” up the pan’s sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Whisk eggs, sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon zest, juice, and milk to combine.
Pour filling over warm crust (it’s important the crust is still warm).
Bake for 20 minutes. Filling should feel slightly firm to the touch.
Cool bars to room temperature, sprinkle with extra powdered sugar, and cut into bars.
Squeezing the Most Juice From a Lemon
Let the lemon sit to room temperature. Roll the lemon
on the counter roughly, pressing hard. This helps loosen up the juices before extraction.