This is a lemon square at its best! There’s a shortbread crust followed by a ribbon of non-dairy cream cheese and topped with the most delicious lemon curd imaginable. A sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar gives it a nice finishing touch. When I gave it to a friend who’s a real connoisseur to taste, she literally swooned over it. Elegant enough for any cake platter, or even on its own for dessert.
Luscious Lemon Bars
- Cooking and Prep: 1.5 h
- Serves: 10
"Cream Cheese" Filling
For the Crust
Cream margarine and sugar in the mixer on high speed. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until fully incorporated.
Press dough evenly into bottom of a nine-inch square baking pan lined with Gefen Easy Baking Parchment Paper. Refrigerate until firm, approximately 30 minutes.
Halfway through, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Prick crust with fork and bake for 25 minutes or until crust turns golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
If you prefer a thinner crust, use a larger pan such as a 7x11-inch.
Prepare the Filling and Lemon Curd
Prepare the "cream cheese" filling while the crust is baking. You can do this in the mixer, beating all ingredients until light and smooth, but I prefer to do it by hand so it stays nice and thick. It’s your call. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate.
Prepare the lemon curd. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar in a medium-sized pot. Place over low heat and whisk in water and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient, as this can take up to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add lemon zest and oil and cool for 10 minutes.
Spread chilled cream cheese filling evenly over cooled crust. Spread lemon curd evenly over filling.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until edges begin to turn light golden brown.
Cool. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour before cutting into bars. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
These bars should be refrigerated and taste best served cold.
Photography: Hudi Greenberger.
Food Styling: Renee Muller.