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I am having a problem with lemon bars. Every time I make the base which is a powdered sugar, flour and butter combination and bake it at 350 degrees in a conventional oven or 325 in a convection oven, the base shrinks..and so the lemon topping runs under the base. I have tried 5 different recipes...
do I need to prick the shortbread base before baking? HELP. Stephanie
 

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Fully lined pans prevent wet or gooey toppings, like lemon, from flowing under the crust and/or sticking to the sides of the pan. I would suggest using medium-gauge foil.

Also, you should bake your crust in the lower third of the oven.
 

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That's the classic crust.......are you greasing your pan? I don't and mine don't shrink............if you've tried that many recipes it has to be your technique thats wrong.

Don't dock/or prick it.

Also exactly how bad does it "run under the base"? are you talking about how the edges stick and is that what your refering to?
 

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I have the same trouble as Stephanie.
Kimmie, are you suggesting that the foil follows the crust as it shrinks or should the crust not shrink at all?
Wendy, is there a "trick" to making a shortbread crust that prevents it from shrinking (other than not greasing the pan)? I don't grease my pan because there is enough butter in the crust already but it still shrinks. :confused:

Jock
 

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Jock, my dough does not shrink. I don't grease the foil nor do I prick/dock the dough. The lining gives me clean edges. Make a sling to take it out easily. :p
 

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I roll out my shortdough onto parchment lined full sheet pans, bake and pour the lemon filling into the HOT prebaked crusts. Another option would be to thicken your lemon filling on the stove ans then finish baking it with the crust.
 

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SHORTBREAD
1 # butter
1 C brown sugar
4 C A.P flour
1/2 t baking powder
2 t salt
4 C shredded coconut
beat butter & sugar creamy. mix rest and add and mix till blendid. grease 1/2 sheet pan and press dough into pan up tp 1/2" thick and pre bake until golden brown at 350 degrees.
This does not shrink and no need to roll out

patrick
 

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I do line my all my bars when baked in full sheet pans with foil (although I think Angry's parchment makes more economic sense) as a sling to flip out of pan or prepare for freezing.

I don't know if foil is making any real difference in shrinkage....... but my dough doesn't shrink.

Also pour filling onto a hot crust. Don't over mix your filling!


I'm not sure about 1/2" thick crust pjm.....that's kind of ukie.....unless it's traditional shortbread cookies your after.
 

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yes, seemed like a type-o......but I wasn't sure..........sorry
 

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From my experiences working with crusts, the result of shrinkage is gluten developement. Is the shortbread overmixed? Maybe try letting it rest for 20 minutes or so before you bake it.
 
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