I have had my eye on this recipe for Grapefruit Bars for a long time. Grapefruit Bars? I know, it’s not your average dessert bar, and that’s what intrigued me. I love that the author thought outside the box and created a dessert recipe using sweet red grapefruit. Now I love a lemon bar, but it never, ever would have occurred to me to try them with grapefruit instead. But I love it when I come across imaginative recipes, and I simply must give this one a try!
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.
Many of the ingredients for these Grapefruit Bars are kitchen staples. I had things like butter, flour, salt, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar on hand. I even had a set of food coloring that included pink. I’m sure you could just add a drop of regular red food coloring to get a similar effect if you don’t have pink.
That left me needing only eggs and red grapefruit. I ordered my groceries from Publix using Instacart, and they had red grapefruit in stock. However, I’m not sure that’s what I received. The flesh looked more like pink grapefruit as you can see below. But no worries, the recipe notes do mention you can use pink grapefruit but it might be a little more tart.
I also picked up some more parchment paper during this shop. I was running low and wanted to make sure I didn’t run out since it’s a requirement for this recipe.
This recipe starts off with preheating the oven, pan prep, and making the crust. A food processor made that very easy. I just added the ingredients and pulsed until it formed pea-sized crumbs.
Then I poured the crust mixture into the prepared 11' x 7' baking pan and gently pressed it into an even layer. I used a combination of my fingertips and the flat bottom of a heavy measuring cup. Next, I baked the newly made crust for 18 minutes and prepared the filling.
It’s not specified in the recipe, but I used my stand mixer to make the filling. In addition to the mixing, I also did a little zesting and juicing. This recipe only needed 1/2 a grapefruit for the zest, but it took 1 1/2 grapefruits to get 1 cup of juice. I bought 3 to be safe, so I had plenty.
The filling was a light pink color, but I have been obsessed with pastel desserts lately. I added 4 drops of food coloring to make sure they would be really pink once they baked. I learned my lesson with the pink strawberry pie crust that baked up brown, much to my dismay.
When the crust was ready, I poured the filling into the pan and, to my horror, noticed a lot of sugar stuck to the bottom of the stand mixer’s bowl. I had a moment of panic! Then I decided to pour the filling back into the bowl, mix it again to incorporate the errant sugar, and return it to the pan.
Then it was back into the oven for another 20 minutes to bake until the center was set. I usually have trouble with dessert bars not setting, so I was absolutely thrilled to discover these had set nicely in the time listed. Afterward, I let the pan cool on the counter before refrigerating it overnight.
Cutting the bars the next day was easy because the parchment paper lining allowed me to lift the whole thing out of the pan. I decided to add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to combat any potential tartness from the pink grapefruit. Well, because of that and it’s pretty. And I just feel like dessert bars should be dusted with it. It absorbed into the GRapefruit Bars pretty quickly, but I was able to snap a few photos before that happened.
- 9 minutes to prep the crust
- 18 minutes to bake the crust
- 11 minutes to prep the filling (done while crust baked)
- 20 minutes to bake with filling
- 1 hour to cool on a wire rack
- 3 minutes to cut and dust with powdered sugar
- 1 hour 50 minutes total
This does not include refrigerating overnight. The recipe says to refrigerate 1-2 hours or until cold.
It looks like the recipe total time includes 1 hour of refrigeration. If I add that hour to my time I am at the exact time listed, 2 hours 50 minutes. Perfect!