These Meyer lemon bars have a delicious filling with burst of lemon flavor and a buttery crust that barely holds together.
Up until recently, I had a love hate relationship with lemon bars. Every time I made lemon bars, they always turned out awful and ended up in the trash. The filling was either too eggy or sour and the crust too crispy or soggy. Yes, I’m a bit particular about lemon bars. I love lemon bars with just the right amount of tang and a buttery crumbly crust. Countless trials later, I’m excited to share my recipe for these delicious Meyer lemon bars with an almond shortbread crust.
Before we planted a Meyer lemon tree in our garden, I used Eureka lemons which always turned out too tart. After I switched to Meyer lemons, I have never gone back. Since Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, it has a beautiful burst of lemon flavor without the acidic edge. Their aromatic delicate skin also adds another dimension of lemon flavor to the filling.
One of the most important lessons I learned from my failed attempts is pouring the filling directly onto the hot crust prevents it from becoming soggy. Once I made the mistake of removing the crust from the oven so I could bake something else, poured the filling onto the cooled crust only to find out that the filling had sunk into the crust and created a soggy mess. If you were running behind and didn’t make the filling in time, put the cooled crust back into the oven for a few minutes will solve your problem. For the crust, I also added almond meal to create a nuttier base.
These Meyer lemon bars don’t last very long when we bring them to potlucks or serve them at the end of a casual meal. They are slightly tart, sweet, and delicate all in the same bite. I love the luscious filling with burst of lemon flavor and buttery crust that barely holds together. Peak season for Meyer lemons runs from November until March so grab them while you can and make these delicious lemon bars.
Meyer lemon bars with almond shortcrust
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- ¾ cup cup all purpose flour
- 6 tbsps almond meal
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 organic eggs
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- ¾ cup cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- Zests of 2 Meyer lemons
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter a 6 by 12 inch baking pan. Line base and sides with parchment paper, extending the paper about an inch over the sides which will help you lift the bars from the pan.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, flour, almond meal, and salt on medium speed until the mixture comes together.
- Press the dough evenly over the base of the pan with your fingers then use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to help compact it.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes in the middle rack of the oven until the edges are golden brown.
- Prepare the filling while the base is baking. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Add the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and all purpose flour and whisk until well combined.
- Strain the egg mixture into another bowl to remove any lumps. Whisk in the lemon zest.
- Pour the egg mixture over the hot base and bake for another 20 minutes until the edges of the bars are set but the middle still jiggly.
- Let the bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, lift the bars from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the bars with a sharp knife into 2 inch squares and wipe the knife clean in between cuts.
- Dust the bars with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.