It’s meyer lemon season! It’s meyer lemon season! Ok. I’m back down to earth now. But seriously. Just when I think the grocery store can’t get more exciting, meyer lemons show up! And now I must make meyer lemon bars.
Because meyer lemons are my jam. Oooh. Jam. *Makes mental note to make meyer lemon jam*
Do you KNOW what these are?! They are the perfect citrus for baking because they have a sweeter taste. Less of a ‘zing’ than when baking with Eureka lemons.
With the milder flavor, most dishes require less sugar. Yay for less sugar! So many recipes call for two to three cups of sugar to make lemon bars. Ugh. That’s just too much for this girl. These meyer lemon bars have the perfect filling-to-crust ratio.
What to make with meyer lemons
I have this thing for bars. Marionberry. Plum. Chocolate Turtle. Some bars are great for breakfast, while others are perfect to serve to friends who pop in. I would totally make these if you decided to stop by my house . Also, if you are looking for other ways to bake with meyer lemons, check out tutti dolci’s recipe for meyer lemon rolls. I seriously am going to make these stat.
My husband is a huge lemon fan. On Valentine’s Day, instead of a chocolate treat, I made him these Meyer Lemon Bars. Before I served him dessert, I made him guess what it was I made.
Me: what do you think I made you for Valentine’s Day?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: it’s your favorite dessert.
Him: cherry pie?
Me: what? your favorite dessert is cherry pie?
Him: oh – lemon pie.
Me: close enough.
So I decided his guess was close enough to what I really made. He had three bars. 🙂
How to make the meyer lemon bars
These bars are so simple to make. The crust is baked before adding the filling. It’s called “blind baking”. Anyone know where that term came from? Me neither. I could probably google it if I really wanted to know. (Are you googling it right now?!)
The crust is kinda delicate. It’s made with powdered sugar, so it doesn’t hold up as well as granulated sugar. But don’t let that stop you from making them. The texture is perfect paired with the delicate lemon filling. I may make them again trying regular sugar and see if I like them as much.
Make the filling
While the crust is baking you can make the filling. I did use some of the zest from the lemons, which for some reason floated to the top of the filling once it baked. I’m not sure why this happened. And it didn’t take away anything from the flavor. It was essentially covered up with powdered sugar, so not too disastrous. Also, know that the meyer lemons have a softer skin. It can be tricky to get the zest off the rind without getting the white part. Just FYI.
Just before pouring the filling into the crust, give it another whisk or two. The mixture can start to separate and we want it fully incorporated before baking.
Let the bars cool completely before cutting. I refrigerated mine because I wasn’t ready to take photos right when they were cooled. This actually made it easier to cut, so feel free to do that. After the bars are cooled completely, and just before serving, dust with powdered sugar. If the bars are coated and will not be served immediately, it’ll just disappear into the lemon filling.
Here are some of the items I used in making these meyer lemon bars. The Emile Henry 8×8 baker is perfect for bars and brownies. It comes in many colors, but I love the simplicity of white. This parchment paper is the best. I usually purchase it at Costco during the Christmas season because they don’t sell it any other time. Weird. Because when is it NOT baking season?? Also, don’t forget the dusting wand to sprinkle all that wonderful powdered sugar.
Happy baking and tag me if you make them!
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For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups | 6.5 ounces all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the lemon filling:
- 1 cup | 7 ounces granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup | 1.25 ounces all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temp
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (can sub 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract if it’s too hard to get enough zest)
- 1/2 cup meyer lemon juice
- powdered sugar for dusting
To make the crust:
- Spray an 8×8 inch pan with non-stick and line with parchment. Use two pieces of parchment that cross and hang over the edges of the pan for easy removal.
- In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add in pieces of butter and pulse til combined and are pea sized.
- Press into bottom of pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
For the filling:
- In a medium bowl whisk the sugar, flour, eggs, lemon zest (or extract), and lemon juice.
- Pour the filling over the baked crust and continue baking another 25 minutes, until the filling is set. If the filling moves when you jiggle the pan, continue baking a few minutes at a time until set.
- Cool completely, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.