Blood Orange Bars highlight the special flavors of the beautiful fruit. Rich buttery shortcrust topped with tangy blood orange custard. A perfect cookie bar.
I tend to impulse buy produce, especially fruit. I just can’t resist an especially luscious looking pint of seasonal berries or an exotic fruit I’ve never tasted.
Having purchased a bunch of beautiful blood oranges on impulse, I took the opportunity to experiment with some favorite citrus recipes.
After making a batch of Blood Orange Marmalade I still had some oranges left so I made these Blood Orange Bars.
A good lemon bar is one of life’s little perfections; the buttery short crust, the soft, tangy filling and that little sprinkle of sugary goodness on top. While you can’t improve on perfection, it’s fun to switch things up from time to time.
I was curious to see if the lovely color and delicate flavor of blood oranges would make a good bar cookie. Spoiler alert, it does!
This recipe is similar to any lemon bar recipe. The shortbread base is pre-baked and then topped with the custard and put back into the oven to finish.
Since blood oranges are a little sweeter than lemons I lowered the amount of sugar in the custard filling and added the juice of 1 lemon to brighten the flavor.
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Blood Orange Bars:
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
For the Crust:
- 2 cups (10 oz, 283g) cake flour
- 2/3 cup (4 oz, 112g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) unsalted butter, room temp
For the filling
- 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- Finely grated zest from 1 blood orange
- 1 cup (8 oz, 240 ml) blood orange juice (about 6 oranges)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking pan, then line with parchment paper in one direction going up and over the two sides of the pan.
For the Crust
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl. On low speed, add the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until the butter is incorporated. It will look powdery, but it will come together when you press it into the pan.
- Dump the mix into the pan and press out into an even layer, making sure to get the corners. Bake until golden brown. About 15-20 minutes. If the crust puffs up in any spots, just gently press it down (wearing an oven mitt) after it's out of the oven
- Reduce oven temperature 325°F.
For the Filling:
- Using the same bowl you used for the crust, whisk together the sugar, salt and flour. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add zest, blood orange juice and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
- Pour the filling onto the warm crust and bake until the custard is set, about 20 minutes. Give the pan a little shake and if the custard doesn't jiggle, it's ready.
- Cool to room temp in the pan. Run a butter knife between the parchment and the pan to make sure the filling didn't leak out and cause the paper to stick.
- Put the bars, still in the parchment paper, on a sheet pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Lift onto a cutting board and peel back the edges of the paper. Cut into 24 squares. Wipe the blade of the knife with a damp cloth between cuts to get cleaner edges. Sift an even layer of confectioner's sugar over the surface then lift each bar off the paper.
You must add the juice last when mixing the filling. If you add the juice to the eggs before the sugar the eggs will "cook" in the juice.
You can cut the recipe in 1/2 and bake in an 8"x8" inch pan.
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