Salted Citrus Bars.
Salted citrus bars are my newest love language.
I mean, serving you every kind of delicious food and drink possible is my love language, but these salted citrus bars are the tops right now.
Can you believe I’ve never made lemon bars before?! NEVER!
I think I made them from a box once when I was a teenager. Before recipe blogs were a thing and all that jazz. But that’s it. No REAL bars.
My grandma (my dad’s mom!) made the best lemon bars. She also made the BEST ever chocolate sheet cake, which I have yet to even attempt to replicate.
Two very different desserts that describe my dessert love perfectly. Refreshing and lemony? Or fudgy and chocolatey? I let the day determine my choice. Sometimes I want something decadent and other times I want something lighter. But still sweet. You know what I mean?
The thing is that I wanted to make something a little more than classic lemon bars. Something more trashed up, of course. I actually wanted to make straight grapefruit bars, but had a leeeeettle bit of a recipe disaster earlier this year with grapefruit curd.
I mean, it was bad.
You will see it in my recipe disasters come December. I’m still having nightmares over it.
So a combo of citrus it is! Both lemon AND grapefruit make a statement here.
Lemon and grapefruit curd that tastes so refreshing, bright and tangy against a buttery shortbread crust. Topped with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt, these make your taste buds go wild.
The shortbread crust is super simple. The curd is even easier – it’s probably the easiest curd filling I’ve ever made. It’s basically foolproof. These are best made the night before so they can chill in the fridge, and then right after slicing, sprinkle on that salt. I used the base of this recipe and it calls for an 8×8 inch pan, which results in thick bars. I love thick bars! If you find them too thick, you can use a 9×13 inch dish and bake for a little less time.
This bite is just the best.
Salted Citrus Bars
Salted Citrus Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest
- ½ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- flaked sea salt, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper so it hangs over the edges.
- Place the flour, sugars and salt in the bowl of your food processor and blend until combined. Add in the butter pieces and pulse until coarse crumbs of butter remain. Add in the egg yolks and pulse until a dough comes together. It should almost look like pie dough.
- Bring the dough together with your hands and press it into the parchment-lined baking dish. Stick the dough with a fork a few times. Bake the shortbread until slightly golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and flour in a saucepan over low heat and whisk constantly to combine. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved, then whisk in the zest and juices of both the grapefruit and lemon.
- Increase the heat to medium-low and continue to whisk constantly until the curd thickens and bubbles appear on the edges, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Cut the softened butter into pieces and whisk it into the curd, one piece at a time. Whisk each piece until it fully melts. When all the butter is in, pour the curd into the crust.
- Bake the bars until the curd is set and the center is slightly jiggly, about 25 to 30 minutes. If the curd still isn’t set after 30 minutes, bake it at 5 minute increments, checking after each time. You want only the center to be slightly jiggly. Remove the bars and let cool completely.
- Once the bars have cooled, refrigerate them for at least 4 hours or even overnight. To slice, lift the parchment paper edges to remove the bars in one full square. Slice the bars into 12 or 16 pieces. Sprinkle with the flaked sea salt and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
Just looking at these makes my mouth water.
13 Comments on “Salted Citrus Bars.”
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Could you make this into a tart? Like, pie shaped? 😬
i think you can!
Would it work to use GF flour for the curd and crust? These sound divine!!!
it should definitely work! you can also use arrowroot or something similar for the curd part.
Thanks for the interesting recipe. It sounds and looks extraordinarily YUMMI! I’ll try it right after breakfast. Unfortunately, I haven’t got any organic grapefruits to scrape. But I don’t care!
Please, keep on Posting!
Happy Easter from Germany!
we are definitely dessert twins…rich and chocolatey or tart and fresh! these look incredibly awesome btw!!
I had never made lemon bars or a shortbread crust before but, except for a little adventure with my electric mixer trying to get the dough together, this was a fun challenge! The bars are delicious, the perfect amount of tartness and the grapefruit comes through. I was worried it would be too tart when I tried the curd but the crust balances it perfectly. Mine are much more yellow than your pictures but still very pretty–thanks for the wonderful recipe!
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The perfect summer dessert! I’m not a good baker, but this was easy to make and absolutely delicious. I substituted gluten free flour and didn’t have any problems.
Best lemon bars ever and only ones I make now. I make a lot of your recipes and this is probably my favorite. Thanks!
I have thrown away all of my other curd recipes because this recipe is the best. We have lemon and grapefruit trees and this recipe now moves up as one of our go to recipes. The shortbread is amazing too!!!