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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Meyer Lemon Shortbread Bars/Squares

Meyer Lemon Bars 1

I know lemon bars aren't particularly unusual. But I've made four batches of these Meyer lemon bars in the past few months until I got the recipe exactly the way I liked it.

The first time I made them, my friend Don ate two. (You remember Don don't you? He of the four-course elk dinner and knife-cut noodles? I still need to tell you Don's story too...)

They were so good that when I made them again last week, lil' sis requested that I please not give them all away.

Meyer Lemon Bars 2

Since Meyer lemons are less tart, you might want to increase the sugar by about 1/4 cup if you're using regular lemons. Mmm. Meyer lemons.

My recipe uses twice more lemon juice than most recipes, but I think the natural sweetness and flavor of Meyer lemons really shines through that way.

Meyer Lemon Bars 3

Meyer Lemon Shortbread Bars/Squares 
Adapted from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Cookies, Biscuits, and Bars

For an 8 by 8 inch pan, roughly 9 bars, you'll need:

For shortbread crust, you'll need:
1 cup flour
1 stick butter, about 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Meyer lemon filling, you'll need:
1 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
 Powdered sugar for topping.

Leave the butter out at room temperature until softened. Beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the butter until creamy.

Meyer Lemon Bars 4

Add in 1 cup flour and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be very loose and powdery.

Meyer Lemon Bars 5

Then, by hand, knead the flour in the bowl until it comes together. You can also dump this out on a table and do it, but I prefer to dirty as few things as possible. No dishwasher you see. Anyway, this should take just a few minutes until it looks like so.

Meyer Lemon Bars 6

Press into a greased 8x8-inch pan. Prick with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Meyer Lemon Bars 7

While the shortbread crust is baking, it's time to prepare the lemon curd topping. Using the same bowl (so you don't have to wash any additional dishes), add 1 cup Meyer lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 4 eggs, 1/4 cup flour, and 1 tsp baking powder. Set aside.

Meyer Lemon Bars 8

Now let's check on that shortbread shall we? Nice slightly golden crust. You don't want it too brown.

Meyer Lemon Bars 9

Now give the lemon/egg mixture a quick stir and pour it on top of the shortcrust. Bake for another 20 minutes until done.

Meyer Lemon Bars 10

Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. You can scrap off the burnt edges. Then top with powdered sugar.

Meyer Lemon Bars 11

I know it's hard to resist but the lemon bars are much better after they've cooled down a bit. Otherwise, the lemon curd will ooze everywhere. Slice into squares.

Meyer Lemon Bars 12


My other shortbread recipes:
Shortbread Cookies with Brown Sugar
Shortbread Cookies with Lavender

My other lemon recipes:
Baked Chicken with Citrus Marinade
Baked Chicken with Salt, Pepper, and Lemon
Chanh Muoi (Vietnamese Salty Lemonade)
Cuban Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
Meyer Lemon Granitas

I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event created by Kalyn's Kitchen celebrating herbs, vegetables, or flowers. If you'd like to participate, see who's hosting next week. WHB returns home and is hosted this week by Kalyn.

1 year ago today, homemade Potstickers with Ground Pork and Turkey, Bamboo Shoots, and Cabbage.


  1. I love lemon bars. I can never turn them down.

    Now if only my danged kalamansi tree would cooperate with me...

  2. Call me sheltered, but I don't think I've ever tasted a Meyer lemon! Your post makes me want to make those lemon bars again. The trees are loaded :-) Happy weekend!

  3. Oh my, these sound just wonderful. As you know, I'm not much of a dessert eater, but desserts with lemon are my absolute favorite. So if I was at your house I'd have to eat at least one! Great post with the step-by-step photos.

    My brother has a Meyer lemon tree in his yard and I always love to use them when I'm visiting there.

  4. Meyer lemons! Yesssss! I am so making lemon bars this weekend. My tree (bush) is loaded and tons more flowers. I think I may try the salted lemonade too.
    Kalamansi can be used for bars too? Yum.

  5. Marvin,
    Aww, poor Kal. Did you try my shrimp shells advice? I wanna see some kalamansi bars on Burnt Lumpia!

    Nah, I don't consider it living it up just b/c I've got access to a Meyer lemon tree. ;)

    I was just thinking these could be South Beach-friendly if you used Splenda and whole wheat flour.

    You'd have to juice a whole lot of kalamansi to get enough for bars but if you're determined enough...

    I hope you like salty lemonade. I do, but I have weird tastebuds. :)

  6. These look just about perfect. I've never been able to pass by a lemon bar, especially those made with meyer lemons. Great recipe!

  7. Yum love lemon bars. Will try.

  8. Maybe you should have a contest to think up a better name for the segment =D

  9. Those look so good! It looks like they are covered in a thin layer of snow.

  10. Love Meyer Lemons, and I miss my oven too (though I don't use it a lot for baking)!

  11. Laurie,

    Savvy Maria,
    I hope you do.

    Bleh. That's a boring contest. :P

    Heh. Yeah, too much powdered sugar.

    Looks like you've been doing plenty of cooking without that oven. I'm envious of all your eating out adventures.

  12. Is the mic on? I commented earlier and it didn't show up. This is just a test ;-)

  13. Ah, that's better. I think blogger only likes it when I use my gmail account to comment.

    Your backyard sounds like a magical place -- meyer lemons and pomegranates! I think you've inspired me to garden and possibly even quilt ;-)

  14. your lemon curd looks truly luscious. i can feel my cheeks puckering at the sweet acidity.
    fantastic photos.

  15. Whoa, so happy to stumble upon your blog again. I was CRAVING lemon squares just yesterday and was honestly about to go to the store at 8PM to start making some. I didn't, but now that I have your recipe, I may have to. Bookmarking now. Thanks!

    amy @ we are never full

  16. Cathy,
    Once you get here, I'll be nearby so you're welcome to come dig my yard for me. :P

    Actually Meyer lemons are so sweet, there's no puckering in this recipe.

    Glad my recipe came up during your craving. I know how that goes!

  17. Huh, I've never heard of Meyer lemons. Will definitely keep an eye out for them!

  18. Jeannie,
    Really? I never heard of them until I moved to California.


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