Yield: 8″ pan lemon raspberry pie bars // Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Buttery shortbread, lemon curd, fresh raspberries, and streusel.
lemon raspberry pie bars
Pies, while delicious, are a little tricky to get them looking beautiful with all the lattice and cut-outs and beautiful patterns others come up with on top. Pie bars, on the other hand, just rely on a little bit of streusel on top with some berries peeking through for their beautiful look. These pie bars are super easy to throw together and are perfect for sharing. It starts with one four ingredient dough that’s used as the shortbread base and the streusel on top, and is filled with lemon curd and fresh raspberries. It’s buttery, sweet, tart, and delicious.
weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient and can easily throw off a recipe. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
mix the dough carefully
When adding in the flour, only mix just until no flour streaks remain. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which can make the shortbread more tough and chewy than desired.
try to avoid metal utensils when making the curd
It’s possible for the curd to take on a metallic taste if you are using a metal bowl or whisk, so to be safe I would recommend staying away from those when making the curd.
pre-bake the shortbread
Similar to most pie recipes, you’re going to need to “pre-bake” the shortbread. This just means the shortbread will bake for a short time prior to the apples and streusel being added on to it. This is to ensure that the shortbread cooks throughout, and that you don’t end up with a raw crust on the bottom of your apple pie bars. Bake the shortbread for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. If this takes longer than 25 minutes for you, continue to cook until the edges brown! It might just be that your oven’s temperature is running lower than what it says it’s at.
ingredients and substitutions
For the shortbread/streusel:
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the shortbread. You can use salted in place of unsalted butter here, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the shortbread.
Light brown sugar: for sweetness and helps to lock in moisture.
All purpose flour: for structure.
Salt: to balance and bring out the sweetness and flavor of the shortbread.
For the lemon curd:
You can use store-bought lemon curd, but this lemon curd is super easy to make and has more flavor (in my opinion) than store bought!
Egg yolks: thickens up the curd.
Granulated sugar: to sweeten and thicken up the curd.
Lemon: the star of the show – we’ll be using both the zest and the juice for maximum flavor.
Salt: like with the dough, a bit of salt helps with the flavor and sweetness of the curd.
Unsalted butter: helps thicken the curd and make it creamy. You can substitute in salted butter here, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the curd! You can also use your favorite dairy-free butter stick as a substitute.
For the raspberry filling:
Raspberries: only use fresh here because frozen will let out a lot more liquid, making the bars soggy. You can also use blackberries or blueberries here if you want!
Granulated sugar: a little bit of sugar to help sweeten up the tart berries.
Corn starch: for thickening up the berry layer.
how to make lemon raspberry pie bars
lemon raspberry pie bars q&a
can I double this recipe?
Of course! Simply double the ingredients and bake everything in a 9×13″ pan, or divide them into two 8″ square pans. Keep a close eye on them if you do end up baking in a 9×13″ pan, as the baking time may change. Alternatively, you can half the recipe and bake it in a loaf pan for a smaller batch. For any adjustments, note that your baking time may increase/decrease.
can I make the curd ahead of time?
Yes! The curd can be made and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week before baking these bars, or in the freezer for a month.
how to store these pie bars
These bars will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale
a note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature and might not always actually be at the temperature they claim to be at. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
did you make these lemon raspberry pie bars?
If you made these lemon raspberry pie bars I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Lemon Raspberry Pie Bars
- 226 g unsalted butter (1 c.)
- 150 g brown sugar (¾ c.)
- 240 g all purpose flour (2 c.)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 65 g granulated sugar (⅓ c.)
- 40 g lemon juice (scant 3 tbsp.)
- zest of 1 large lemon
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 28 g unsalted butter cubed (2 tbsp.)
- 240 g fresh raspberries (2 c.)
- 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
- 3 tbsp. corn starch
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease and line an 8" square baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Then, mix in the brown sugar, flour, and salt until you have a cohesive dough.
- Pat half of the shortbread mixture down into an even layer into your lined baking dish.
- Bake the dough for 20-25 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown. In the meantime, make the lemon curd and raspberry filling.
- Add the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt to a small saucepan.
- Whisk the mixture vigorously over medium heat until it thickens, and reaches at least 170°F / 76°C. (This took me about 3-5 minutes)
- Remove the curd from the heat and pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the zest and any accidental cooked egg.
- Immediately whisk in the cubed butter until it melts and the mixture is completely smooth.
- In a small mixing bowl, toss together the raspberries, sugar, and corn starch.
- Once the edges turn golden brown, remove the pan from the oven. Pour the lemon curd into an even layer over the dough, then spread the raspberry mixture over the lemon curd.
- Take the remaining unbaked dough and crumble it over the bars.
- Bake the bars for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the streusel turns golden brown and the berries are bubbling.
- Wait for the bars to fully cool to room temperature before slicing. You can speed up this process by placing them in the fridge, but only after letting them cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Once the bars have cooled to room temperature, slice them up, serve them with ice cream if desired, and enjoy!