The Store-Bought Shortcut For Faster Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are arguably the perfect summer dessert. They're light and sweet and provide the refreshment often needed on a hot day. However, they can be a bit daunting to make from scratch due to the custard-like consistency of the lemon curd, which can be tricky to make and requires chilling. Luckily, store-bought lemon curd works just as well as homemade versions to make delicious lemon bars.

While it might not taste as fresh to sample a spoonful of or have the exact same texture as homemade curd, jarred lemon curd, preferably made with real eggs, is sold in nearly every grocery store and eliminates the time-consuming and messy process of setting up a double boiler. While trying to perfectly mix and time your curd recipe so you don't end up with a curdled pot full of lemon-flavored scrambled eggs can be tricky business, using store-bought lemon curd on a homemade crust should produce lemon bars that set perfectly and still capture the sought-after lemony zest of from-scratch versions.

How to apply lemon curd

Store-bought lemon curd is ideal for baking since you don't need to worry about getting the consistency of the curd just right, but you may still find that you need to do a little bit of doctoring with the pre-made curd. Mixing a cornstarch slurry into the curd before baking may be necessary to help the bars set properly, or you may need to add a little bit of extra sugar if the pre-made mixture is too tart for your purposes. Whatever the case, it is much easier to experiment and do a little bit of extra mixing when the majority of your main ingredient is already made.

Once you get the store-bought curd to the proper consistency, all you need to do is pour it over your favorite homemade shortbread or graham cracker crust and pop it back in the oven for a few minutes. Once the bars are baked, you can leave them in the fridge overnight to set as you would with homemade bars, and voila, your friends and family will never know the difference at your next summer get-together.