Shortbread and Lemon Curd

Melissa Graham of The Purple Asparagus shares her recipe for shortbread sticks and lemon curd!

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preparation Time
20 mins

cook Time
45 mins


2128 per serving


  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour, scooped and leveled
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch, scooped and leveled
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ, raw or toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 large egg yolks or 7 ounces egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice (approximately 6 lemons) or 1 cup Meyer lemon juice plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • zest of two lemons



Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix together flours, cornstarch, wheat germ and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Press the dough into the pan. Score lightly into 1-inch by 2 -inch fingers. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shortbread is light brown at the edges. When cooled completely, cut into fingers along the score marks. If kept in an airtight container, the shortbread will keep for two weeks or more.

Lemon Curd

Whisk together the egg yolks with 1 cup sugar in a medium size bowl. Combine the lemon juice, zest, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Pour half of the hot lemon-butter mixture over the yolk mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Pour the warmed yolk mixture into the saucepan again while whisking constantly stopping only briefly to scrape the bowl. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened (approximately 12 minutes). The curd will look gelatinous and will coat the back of a spoon distinctly. If the curd has not thickened after 15 minutes, you probably need more egg yolk. Whisk an egg yolk in a small bowl and add approximately cup of the hot liquid, whisking constantly. Add back to the pan while whisking and cook until thickened. Taste the curd. If it seems too tart, add more sugar until it is to your taste. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl immediately and stir in lemon zest. Let cool.

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