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Lemon Alert

Redcurrant Shortbread Bars With Lemon

I made my first batch of these for the recent Dublin Tea Up [1] and they were popular enough that people asked whether the recipe was on the blog (’tis now). While I thought that the first batch was good, the second batch (which I made to coincide with the Irish bloggers Twookieparty [2]) was even better. That is the version you will find below.

And the difference in the second version? Why, more lemon zest of course.

For the shortbread:
  • 150g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g cornmeal
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 250g redcurrants, washed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 tblsps plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tblsp lemon zest (zest of about 1 lemon)
  • icing sugar to serve (optional)
You’ll also need:
  • A shallow rectangular baking tin – mine was 27cm x 18cm x 4cm deep – and a sieve for mashing the redcurrants.
The Shortbread Steps:
  • Preheat your oven to 150C.
  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, ground ginger and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter until soft, then add the sugar and continue beating until smooth (or use a food processor or stand mixer to do the beating for you).
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until it is pebbly and, when pressed, will hold together as a dough
  • Press the mixture into your baking tin and smooth the surface so that it is fairly even.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until just lightly golden.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes while you make the filling and keep the oven on at 150C.
The Filling Steps:
  • Place the redcurrants in a sieve over a medium-sized bowl and, using a large spoon or spatula, mash them well against the sieve to release their juice – 250g redcurrants should yield around 175ml juice.
  • In a large bowl (or using a stand mixer or food processor) whisk the eggs, then beat in the sugar.
  • Add the flour and salt and whisk until there are no lumps remaining, then whisk in the redcurrant juice and lemon zest.
  • Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 15 minutes or until the filling is set and does not jiggle when you tap the baking tin.
  • Allow to cool in the tin and then slice into squares or bars. Sift some icing sugar over the bars just before serving if you like.
The Variations:
  • Though I haven’t tried it, I imagine that you could substitute an equivalent amount of raspberry juice for the redcurrant juice.
The Results:
  • Makes around 54 x 3cm squares