Recipe Post: Meyer Lemon-Cardamom Shortbread Bars

It’s January, and this means for those north of the 49th parallel, it’s Meyer lemon season! Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time should know how much I adore Meyer Lemons, from posts such as Meyer Lemons: Summer’s Promise in Winter, Meyer Lemons!!! Yaaaaay!!!!!, and Meyer Lemon Tarts. This recipe is another delicious addition to my citrus obsession.

Meyer Lemon-Cardamom Shortbread Bars

YIELD: 16-24 pieces (depending on cut pattern) | PREP: 10 mins | BAKE: 45-50 mins

Cardamom Shortbread Crust:

  • ¼ cup/1.7g granulated sugar
  • 1 cup/130g all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp/1.45g cardamom, ground
  • ¼ tsp/1g kosher salt (or ⅛ tsp table salt)
  • ½ cup/115g butter or coconut oil, room temp and cut into cubes

Meyer Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup/188g/7oz granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1½ tsp/2.5g/0.1oz Meyer lemon zest (equivalent of 1 lemon)
  • ½ cup/120mL/4fl.oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper along bottom and sides of an 8”x8”x2” baking dish, with enough hanging over two of the sides to make handles.
  2. CRUST: in the bowl of a food processor, pulse sugar for a minute or two until more finely ground (optional); add flour, cardamom and salt, and pulse to combine, then add all chunks of butter and pulse until butter is dispersed throughout flour mixture thoroughly, about the size of coarse crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, you can combine all ingredients by hand with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Firmly press mixture into bottom of prepared baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, until set but not yet browned.
  4. FILLING: meanwhile, thoroughly whisk until combined the sugar, flour, eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt in a stainless-steel saucepan over low heat. Continue to cook over low heat while stirring with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula continuously to ensure mixture doesn’t burn for about 3 minutes, then increase heat to medium and continue stirring vigorously until thick and hot, about 7-8 minutes.
  5. Strain custard mixture directly into half-baked crust, being careful not to scrape up any browned bits (if any) from the bottom of the saucepan onto the crust. Level off top, cover with foil and place pan back into hot oven, middle rack.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes longer, or until set. Remove pan from oven, and remove foil; let cool completely, then re-cover and refrigerate until firm (minimum 1 hour) before cutting into bars. When serving, lightly dust icing sugar overtop (optional).

Will keep 3-5 days covered and refrigerated.

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