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Orange Custard Squares – an old fashioned favourite cookie bar!

Orange Custard Squares. An old fashioned favourite cookie bar made with a rich orange custard filling between 2 layers of shortbread crumble.

Orange Custard Squares

Orange Custard Squares

These Orange Custard Squares are cookie bars that I remember making many years ago, especially at this time of year in the height of Christmas baking season.

Photo of a can of Bird's Custard Powder

Bird’s Custard is one of those British institutions that still remains very popular here in Newfoundland. It is not quite as popular now though, as in the post war decades when it was a regular Sunday supper dessert treat.

Jelly and custard was found at practically every household I knew on a Sunday evening, even well up into the 70’s.

fresh organic clementines picked with green leaves

Use seasonal citrus like these clementines, when they are in season.

In my extended family we even now use the term, “Jelly & Custard House” to describe any typical, cozy Newfoundland saltbox style house we pass.

That style of home would be where you would be sure to find a bowl of jelly & custard waiting at the end of your Sunday cold plate supper.

Orange Custard Squares

Orange Custard Squares

These cookie bars are very simple but very delicious. The richness and flavour of the custard powder is what sets this recipe apart, paired with the simple but delicious buttery shortbread crumble.

They will make a delightful addition to the treats in your Holiday freezer but are ideal for anytime baking throughout the year too.

Orange Custard Filling

Orange Custard Filling

If you like this recipe you may also want to check out this delicious collection of Classic Newfoundland Christmas Cookies!

Newfoundland Christmas Cookie Recipes photo collage for Pinterest

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Orange Custard Squares

Orange Custard Squares

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Orange Custard Squares
Yield: 3 dozen cookie bars

Orange Custard Squares

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Orange Custard Squares - an old fashioned favourite cookie bar made with a rich orange custard filling between 2 layers of shortbread crumble.

Ingredients

For the orange custard filling

  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp custard powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • zest of 2 small oranges, finely minced, or 1 large
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 2 tbsp butter

For the shortbread crumble

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

To prepare the filling

  1. Mix together the sugar and custard powder in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the orange juice, zest and vanilla extract. Stir well.
  3. Cook over medium low heat, stirring slowly but constantly. I prefer to use a silicone spatula for this, so that I can continuously run it along the entire bottom of the pot.
  4. When the filling thickens, remove from the heat and pour about a half cup onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
  5. Return the egg mixture quickly back to the pot, again stirring constantly. Cook for one more minute,
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Set aside while you prepare the crumble.

To prepare the crumble

  1. Mix together the flour, sugar & baking powder.
  2. Sprinkle on the vanilla extract.
  3. Using your hands or a pastry blender cut in the butter until the it is completely incorporated into the dry ingredients. You can also do this very quickly in a food processor.
  4. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch well greased baking pan. Pour the orange custard filling evenly over the bottom crumbs. Gently sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the orange custard filling and press down gently.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until light golden brown in color. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares and serving.

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

36

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 123Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 26mgSodium 60mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 0gSugar 9gProtein 1g

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Brenda

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi ive made dozens matbe hundreds of these ove over the years but to really give them glam my recipe adds bout a half cup of shredded unsweetened coconut to the top crumble and toast it ever so lightly with the broiler before removing from oven.....u wont be disappointed

NC

Monday 25th of November 2019

@Wakedo - Depending on where you live in the US, you should be able to buy it at Giant or Wegmans - check the international food aisle. Whole Foods might also sell it, too. But I've bought it at both Giant and Wegmans.

Anne

Thursday 13th of September 2018

Should the orange juice be from squeezed oranges or regular bottled OJ?

Chantelle

Sunday 10th of June 2018

Good flavour combination, easy to follow. The jelly layer was ok and square was very easy to remove from the pan with no crumbling.

Sue

Thursday 10th of August 2017

Just made these for the first time. They smell Devine. Keep up the good work.

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