Grapefruit Lemon Bars on Brown Butter Shortbread

Baking, Desserts | September 16, 2008 | By

lemon bars

Lemon Bars With A Twist!

I love lemon bars! I’m not a huge fan of super sweet desserts (much to Michael’s disappointment) so getting to use lemon in desserts is perfect for my palate! These lemon bars were inspired by our recent SF trip.

Modifying Recipes

Tartine bakery makes the most amazing lemon bars. So as soon as I got home, I started experimenting with my own recipe. I’ve always used The Joy Of Baking as my resource for lemon bars, so over the years I’ve adjusted the recipe and made it my own. This latest version incorporates fresh grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice. The grapefruit juice ads an amazing bitterness that is complimented by the slightly savory brown butter shortbread crust. Very yummy!

Grapefruit Lemon Bars on Brown Butter Shortbread


1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup grapefruit juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
6 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
pinch of salt

Butter a 9 b 13 inch baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust. Mix flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Place in a mixer with a paddle attachment and add butter. Mix until a smooth dough forms. Transfer dough to prepared pan and press evenly. Bake the crust until an even brown color forms over entire crust. About 25 to 35 minutes. Make filling. Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Add grapefruit , lemon juice, and zest. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. In a separate bowl mix eggs with salt. Add the eggs to the grapefruit juice mixture and whisk until well blended.

When crust is ready, pull out of oven and pour egg/grapefruit mixture directly into hot crust. Return to oven and lower temparature to 300 degrees and bake until center of the custard is no longer wobbly…about 40 minutes. Let cool completely and then place in refrigerator until well chilled. Cut and enjoy!


  1. Leave a Reply

    October 6, 2008

    i adore lemon bars. the grapefruit suprised me but it sounds absolutely delicious!!

  2. Leave a Reply

    October 6, 2008

    I always go mad for posts about Lemon Bars, and so Grapefruit is no exception.

    They look awesome!
    And yeah, brown butter crusts are better.

  3. Leave a Reply

    October 6, 2008

    anything lemony is heaven to me! your lemon bars look great. so delicate and pretty.

  4. Leave a Reply

    October 6, 2008

    mmmmm, yes please! looks delicious! 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    April 18, 2010

    Thanks for the recipe! It's less tart than the lemon bar at tartines but it's really good and easy to make. I like how your crust is really close to that of tartines!

    For anyone else looking to try, I think I would probably halve the butter next time. Also, don't do what I did and decide halfway through to make a second batch. If you pull out the short bread and let it cool, while you let the second batch bake, the first crust will pull from the sides, the filling will get under it and you will end up with an upside down grapefruit/lemon bar!

    Again, thanks for a fun, easy, delicious recipe!

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