Tart Ruby Red grapefruit doesn’t have to be relegated only to the breakfast table or juice glass! I think it has been long overlooked as a baking ingredient. In this recipe, I give standard lemon bars an unexpected, slightly sour twist with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and zippy pomegranate seeds, which pair perfectly with the buttery shortbread crust. I find lemons much easier to work with, but use grapefruit peel in place of the lemon peel, if you like. These bars are sure to stand out at any bake sale and make kids’ lips pucker.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3–4 lemons)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed
- Ruby Red grapefruit juice (½ grapefruit)
- 1½ tablespoons fresh, finely grated lemon peel (1–2 lemons)
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- Big pinch of salt
- ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ × 9″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
2. To make the crust: In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a big fork or your clean fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it is well combined. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Cool in the pan on a rack. Leave the oven on.
3. To make the filling: Put the eggs in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy. Slowly add the sugar and beat just until combined. Beat in the lemon and grapefruit juices and the lemon peel.
4. Measure the flour and salt and sift directly into the juice mixture. Stir gently, just until incorporated. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, if using. (They will stay suspended beautifully near the top as they bake.)
5. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the filling is set. It should have tiny bubbles on the surface and the edges will be very slightly brown. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour.
Storage: The bars will keep longer uncut. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.