These Meyer lemon bars are the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Feel free to make them with regular lemon juice if you don’t have Meyer lemons on hand.
The Best Lemon Bar Recipe
Earlier this week I asked my friends on Facebook which holiday recipes they wanted to see (you’re following FoodieCrush right?!!?). It came to a tie between Meyer Lemon Bars and a slow cooker Christmas Eve dinner. So I made you both. We’re starting with dessert first, as every meal really should. That slow cooker dinner? Look for it on Sunday, a little bonus holiday post.
I took on a gardening adventure this year. See, I live in the mountains at the edge of a desert. Some wouldn’t think of Utah as a desert, but it is. The summers are so hot the chickens lay hard boiled eggs and the winters are colder than a witch’s kiss. (You can thank my mother in law for that vision.)
So when I decided to attempt to grow my favorite Meyer lemon tree in this non-Florida/Southern California landscape, I was pretty much tempting fate.
My two little trees/shrubs/bushes did produce about 6 lemons. Which makes each lemon worth about $34. Which makes for some rather expensive Meyer Lemon Bars. But totally worth it going from MY farm to MY table. And of course, you can find them a lot cheaper in the grocery store.
Now, thanks to snow on the ground and that darn witch and her kiss, I’ve moved these babies indoors and I must say, they are happy, happy, happy. I even have a new greenie on the stem just hoping to one day meet its destiny with a vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred thank you very much.
I decided to harvest a few of my coveted lemons to showcase in one of my favorite holiday recipes, turning my classic Lemon Bars into Meyer Lemon Bars. What’s the diff? The lemon of course!
Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular store-bought Eurekas. The taste is somewhat like a cross between a lemon and an orange.
I started making this recipe by the time I was about 12 years old and I made it each and every Christmas until I hit the age of about 30. I haven’t made it in a while, but have had such an itch, I just had to scratch.
Meyer Lemon Bars Ingredients
Making homemade lemon bars couldn’t be easier, nor could the ingredients list be any shorter. Here’s what you’ll need to make this Meyer lemon bars recipe:
- Powdered sugar
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Meyer lemon juice and zest
- Baking powder
How to Make Lemon Bars
Cream the powdered sugar and butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, then mix in most of the flour. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan and bake until golden.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs, sugar, Meyer lemon juice and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add in the remaining flour, then turn the batter into the hot crust and continue baking until done.
Allow these easy lemon bars to fully cool before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting. They’re demanding that way.
Do I Have to Use Meyer Lemons?
If you can’t find Meyer lemons in your grocery store, and don’t happen to have one in your neighborhood that’s producing fruit at just the perfect reachable height (hey, I’m not suggesting anything…), sub half of the lemon juice with fresh orange juice and you’ll see what I mean.
Or go ahead and use regular lemons for extra tartness.
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Bars
These lemon bars are a little more crackly on the top than some recipes I’ve seen. After doing some research, I think it’s due to the amount of sugar used in a recipe. Personally, I like this hint of crispness on top and bottom to balance out the sweet yellow custard in the middle, so I’m keeping it.
While some recipes call for the shortbread crust to go up the sides of the pan (about half an inch seems pretty standard) I prefer less crust, so I just press it into the bottom of the pan. But you can certainly do either to your liking.
Oven times vary, so set your timer about 5 minutes earlier than the 20 I recommend and check to see if your filling is set. A toothpick should come out mostly clean when stuck in the middle of the custard filling.
Reynolds Wrap makes a non-stick aluminum foil I use to line my pan with so I can lift the bars out to cut and then I don’t have to use any extra lube to line the cookies.
More Classic Dessert Recipes to Master
- Mom’s Homemade Easy Fudge Recipe
- Easy Creme Brulee
- German Chocolate Cake
- Milk Bar’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Blueberry Buckle with Lemon Glaze
Meyer Lemon Bars
These Meyer lemon bars are the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Feel free to make them with regular lemon juice if you don't have Meyer lemons.
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice*
- 1 heaping tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking pan by lining it with criss-crossed pieces of aluminum foil that have an overhang of an inch or two. Spray with cooking spray unless using non-stick aluminum foil.
Cream the powdered sugar and butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat on medium speed until mixed. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
Beat the eggs, sugar, Meyer lemon juice and lemon zest in a large bowl either by hand or with a mixer. Sift the reserved 1/2 cup flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix well.
Pour over the hot crust and return to the oven to bake for another 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness at 20 minutes, and add on time as needed.
Cool completely before cutting, then dust with powdered sugar and serve.
*If you can’t find Meyer lemons in your grocery store, use half regular lemon juice and half orange juice.
More Lemon Recipes You’ll Love
- Meyer Lemon Tart
- Lemon Poppyseed Bread with Cranberries
- Sweet and Sticky Glazed Lemon Buns
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Berry Tart with Lemon Curd Mascarpone
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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