Ruby Red Grapefruit Bars
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Grapefruit Bars are just like your favorite lemon bars with a shortbread crust and citrus curd, but with the sweeter flavor of pink or ruby red grapefruit.
When I originally made this recipe in February 2012, I used ruby red grapefruit. As I tested this recipe again, I realized that it’s not quite as tart as I like my citrus desserts to be.
Depending on the type of grapefruit used, it may not be as tart as its citrus counterparts (i.e. lemons or limes). You can spike up the tangy flavor by swapping some of the grapefruit juice with lemon juice. (See notes in the recipe card.)
FYI: Pink or white grapefruit is more tart than ruby red grapefruit, which is more sweet. Keep that in mind as you make this recipe. Both will work fine as far as the chemistry goes while baking.
I prefer my citrus bars to have almost equal parts of crust to filling. More like 1/3 crust, and 2/3 filling. The crust is merely to hold that luscious citrus layer, because if I had it my way, I’d eat the curd with a spoon.
The shortbread crust is still good though. A classic and sturdy base for a softer set fruit curd topping. You can always double the crust portion of the recipe if you would like a ratio of equal crust to filling.
A little dusting of powdered sugar on top with a fine mesh sieve is the icing on the cake, and oh so pretty.
These grapefruit bars are fashioned after the recipes for my lemon and lime bars with just a little more zest and juice. Since grapefruits are naturally more mild, they need just a little extra oomph.
If you’re a citrus fan like I am, I’m sure you will enjoy these pretty pink dessert bars. Happy Baking!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (cut into 8 pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon grapefruit zest
- 1 cup grapefruit juice (or combination or grapefruit + lemon juice*)
- pink food coloring, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13x9-inch pan with parchment paper that overhangs 2-inches on both sides. Or lightly grease pan with cooking spray.
- CRUST: Combine the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor or stand mixer. Pulse/mix until mixture resembles fine crumbs that start to clump together. Press onto the bottom of the prepared 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350˚F for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- FILLING: Prepare filling when crust is just about done. Whisk together the sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the zest, juice, and 3 drops or so of food coloring (if desired).
- Pour filling over hot crust and bake an additional 20 minutes or until filling no longer jiggles, and edges brown.
- Let cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Then refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours until cold. Lift bars out of pan with parchment paper for easy cutting and serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
*Grapefruits are a very mild citrus fruit compared to tangy lemons or limes. Consider using 3/4 cup of grapefruit juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice to help boost the flavor and/or use more zest (up to 1 Tbsp more).
*FYI: Pink or White Grapefruit is more tart than Ruby Red Grapefruit
*Originally published 2/7/12. Updated 3/25/20.