With an abundance of Meyer lemons on hand, lemon bars always seem to come to mind. I wanted something a little different from my standard Lemon Bars or my Meyer Lemon Tart I wanted a crust like the Keebler Pecan Sandies cookies I love so much, and Lemon Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust came pretty close. You could certainly make a regular shortbread crust, but why would you? Pecans make it so much better!
Why This Recipe Works
Lemon bars recipes are everywhere, but most of them are basically the same, lemon curd atop a crust. I love those lemon bars too and make them often. These Lemon Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust take the humble lemon bar to new heights. The curd is deliciously sweet, but has a big lemon tang. It sets up nicely and is easy to cut with a hot knife, making for a pretty presentation. The pecan shortbread crust is definitely the twist that puts this lemon bar recipe in the upper class of lemon bar recipes. The crust is over ½" thick when baked in an 8" x 8" baking dish! It has the typical shortbread crumbly texture, plus the crunch of the chopped pecans. The luscious lemon curd atop a perfect pecan shortbread is a true dessert delight. These lemon bars are perfect for giving as gifts to friends and family. )Place a sheet of parchment paper between the layers.)
Key Ingredients for Lemon Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust
- lemon zest
- kosher salt
Gather Your Ingredients
Steps for Lemon Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust
- For this recipe you will make the pecan shortbread first in a baking pan.
- While the crust is baking, you will make the lemon curd filling, keeping it in the refrigerator until the crust is done.
- You will pour the filling over the crust while it is hot from the oven.
- Then you will bake again until the lemon curd is set.
- After baking you must allow the bars to cool until room temperature.
- Then, they must be thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator before cutting.
Lemon Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust
- 8"x8" baking pan
- 2 Medium bowls
For the crust:
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter slightly melted but still cool
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
For the topping:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 2-3 lemons
- powdered sugar for garnish
For the crust:
- Spray an 8x8 inch glass baking pan with baking spray.
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and the vanilla together. Add the flour, (cooled) melted butter, and pecans until a crumbly dough forms.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Prick the dough with a fork all over to prevent air bubbles while baking. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes in the pan before baking. Bake the crust at 325 degrees until lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes.
For the lemon topping:
- While the crust is baking, stir the sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest together. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and refrigerate until the crust is out of the oven,
- While the crust is still hot pour the lemon topping over the top and spread evenly. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees, return the pan to the oven and bale until the topping is set in the center. It should not jiggle when the pan is moved. This should take 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack and cool until the bars are cooled completely. Refrigerate until chilled and firm enough to cut into squares or triangles. Dust the tops with powdered sugar just before serving.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.