Shortbread and Lemon Curd Bars
For the Shortbread
1 pound butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla (optional)
4 cups all purpose flour
For the Lemon Curd
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice strained
pinch of salt
6 Tbs butter cut into small cubes
In a double boiler, place the egg yolks,sugar, lemon juice,zest and salt. Whisking constantly mix, until the eggs turn a pale yellow and the mixture thickens and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted from the bowl about 10 -15 minutes. Don’t let the bowl come in contact with the water and keep the water from coming to a full boil or you might scramble the eggs.
Once the mixture thickens take the bowl off heat and add the butter, a little at a time, whisking the butter completely into the curd before adding more.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap that comes in contact with the top of the curd (this will prevent a skin from forming). Place in refrigerator to cool and thicken.
Now begin the shortbread.
Line a 8 x 8 inch pan with aluminum foil (this will make removing the bars from the pan easy).
Preheat oven to 325°
In the bowl of the mixer place the sugar and butter and cream until soft and fluffy.
Add the yolk and vanilla and continue to mix until completely incorporated.
Slowly add the flour and mix until all combined.
When a dough begins to form take the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flattened ball. Cut into 3 equal pieces.
Take a third of the dough and roll it out to a 7 1/2 inch square. Place the square into the baking pan and lightly press from the center pushing the dough to the corners and edges.
Bake in the center of a 325° oven for about 50 minutes unti the top begins to lightly brown. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the shortbread is cooled spoon the Curd on top and even and smooth it out with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface for a few hours, overnight better.
Carefully take the foil lined bars out of the pan and gently remove the foil. cut into 16 equal 2″ squares. Optional sprinkle a little powdered sugar over the top.