Cookies and Bars

Pistachio Lemon Raspberry Bars

This is a dessert for REAL lemon lovers.  These Pistachio Lemon Raspberry Bars with a nutty, buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon custard filling, and fresh raspberries are as beautiful as they are delicious!  Sweet, tangy, and decadent, the tart lemon flavor is beautifully complemented by the sweet raspberries.

For the brightest, tangiest lemon flavor, use the juice of fresh lemons.  Since you need a fair amount of lemon zest, you can use the whole lemon.  Here are some little hints – buy seedless lemons – so much easier to juice – no trying to scoop seeds out of your squeezed juice.  Also, room temperature lemons are easier to juice and cold lemons are easier to zest!  The addition of cream to the filling adds richness and flavor, making it more custard-like than lemon curd.

I use a combination of powdered sugar and cornstarch in the crust for a more buttery and tender crust.  And my recipe calls for melted butter for the crust because it makes the dough more pliable and easier to pat out in the pan.  The result when baked was the same as using cold butter as most recipes call for and is just easier to mix.

Welcome spring and delight your taste buds with these irresistible, mouthwatering, Pistachio Lemon Raspberry Bars!

Pistachio Lemon Raspberry Bars

A buttery pistachio shortbread crust, creamy lemon filling, and bursts of bright whole raspberries – a perfect flavor combination.
Author Rosalie D’Amico

Ingredients

Pistachio Shortbread Crust

  • 4 ounces butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • Zest of ½ large lemon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup toasted (unsalted) pistachios, finely chopped

Lemon Raspberry Custard Layer

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Instructions

Shortbread Crust

  • Butter an 8×8” baking pan. Use a glass pan. Ceramic is fine, but glass is best. Do not use metal. I always detect a slight metallic flavor in the lemon bars baked in a metal pan.
  • Melt the butter. Add the lemon zest to the butter and set aside.
  • Combine flour, cornstarch, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and pistachios in a bowl. Add melted, cooled butter and lemon zest; mix until combined.
  • Crumble dough into prepared pan and pat evenly in the pan using your fingers or the bottom of a glass or measuring cup.
  • Chill dough while oven is heating to 350°. Bake for 15-18 minutes until very lightly browned. Let the crust cool for 15 minutes or more.

Custard Layer

  • Whisk flour and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add eggs and whisk to combine well.
  • Add cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice and whisk to blend completely.
  • Place raspberries in an even layer over crust. Carefully pour the custard over the berries.
  • Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes, until custard layer is completely set – it should not jiggle.
  • Cool completely. When cool, chill for at least one hour.
  • Just before serving, finish with confectioners’ sugar or Lemon Glaze. Only finish the bars you are serving immediately – both the confectioners’ sugar and Lemon Glaze tend to melt in the refrigerator.

Notes

For finishing: sift confectioners’ sugar over cooled bars or drizzle with a Lemon Glaze (lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar).