The history of the lemon bar is short. It was created in 1963 by a team at Betty Crocker. Shortbread and lemon curd have been around for centuries but no one thought to put the two together to create a dessert bar until then. That history is no fun so we will be going through the history of shortbread and the history of lemon curd separately.
We will start with the history of shortbread. Shortbread was created in the 12th century as a biscuit, in medieval times, though the actual date it was created is unknown. it was originally left over bread dough that was cooked in a oven on low until it dried out and hardened. The word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Then the biscuit was refined in the 16th century by Mary Queen of Scots. The shortbread origin is mostly known to come from Scotland.
Now we move to the history of lemon curd. It started in England in the 1800’s. It was originally created by lemon siting in cream until curds formed, then it was pushed through cheesecloth. In the late 19th century, early 20th century lemon curd was served with bread of scones in place of jams. But no one had the thought to put the shortbread and the lemon curd together until 1963. And I don’t know about you, but I am sure glad they did. It is one of my favorite desserts.