Blood Orange Bars with Rye Shortbread Crust

Slightly adapted from: Olives + Thyme

Yield: 16-ish bars, depending on how you cut ‘em


Rye Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups (180g) Maine Grains Organic Rye Flour
  • 1/3 cup (38g) confectioners’ sugar
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted

Blood Orange Curd:

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (143g) caster (AKA superfine) sugar*
  • ½ cup (124g) freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • ¼ cup (60g) lemon juice
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, cubed & room temperature


*If you don’t have caster (AKA superfine) sugar, very briefly blitz granulated sugar in a spice grinder or blender. Don’t grind too much, otherwise you’ll end up with confectioners’ sugar!


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease and line an 8" x 8" metal baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together rye flour, confectioners’ sugar, blood orange zest, and salt.
  3. Pour melted butter into bowl of dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until butter is throughout. (Ditch the spatula and get in there and mix with your hands, if necessary, to fully incorporate the butter.)
  4. Press crust mixture evenly into the bottom of your baking pan.
  5. Place crust in freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. Retrieve crust from freezer. Slightly crumple a piece of parchment paper, then use to line crust, making sure parchment reaches all the corners of the pan. Fill with pie weights or dry beans, then place in oven.
  7. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Remove parchment and weights/beans; allow crust to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  9. Now it’s curd time! In a heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.
  10. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water’s surface. Keep whisking until yolks lighten (1–3 minutes), then add blood orange juice, lemon juice, and zest.
  11. Continue whisking for 8–10 minutes until mixture has thickened a little.
  12. Add salt, then add butter one piece at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.
  13. Strain curd into another bowl, then pour on top of cooled shortbread crust.
  14. Bake for 12–18 minutes until curd is set.
    NOTE: To check whether or not your curd is set, without removing the pan from the oven, give it a gentle jiggle. If the curd is firm at the edges and still wobbles a little in the centre, it’s done. If it ripples when shaken or looks watery, bake for a few minutes more.
  15. Transfer baking pan to wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature, about an hour.
  16. Chill bars in fridge until fully set, 3–4 hours.
  17. Remove curd bar slab from pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Cut into 16 bars.
  18. If you like, dust bars with confectioners’ sugar before serving. We also recommend topping some bars with candied blood orange slices!

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