Prepare your favorite lemon bars using Meyer lemons and you may sway those that aren't fans of this typically tart dessert. Meyer lemons are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange with a smoother, deeper colored skin and a dark yellow pulp. They are also sweeter than regular lemons and are less acidic, so the flavor is less tart than a typical lemon, making these lemon bars a bit more approachable.
In this recipe, a buttery crust is topped with a flavorful custard and then baked until set. The bars are then dusted with powdered sugar and cut into squares. They can be covered and stored at room temperature for 2 days or will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week for everyone to enjoy.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and set aside.
Use an electric hand or stand mixer to cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.
Add 2 cups of the flour, beating on low speed until blended.
Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until light.
Gradually, add the granulated sugar, beating until thick and blended.
Add the Meyer lemon zest and juice, the remaining 1/3 cup of the flour, and the baking powder. Beat until thoroughly blended.
Pour the lemon mixture over the baked crust and return the pan to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a pale gold color.
Remove from the oven and evenly dust with powdered sugar. Let cool. Cut into about 24 squares.
Citrus Zesting Tip
When a recipe calls for both the zest and juice of citrus fruit, be sure to grate the zest first, before cutting and juicing the fruit. It is easier (and safer) to zest while whole, as you need to hold the fruit while running the skin along the zester. Once you have removed the zest that you need, you can then slice the fruit in half and squeeze out the juice.
What's the Difference Between Meyer Lemons and Regular Lemons?
Meyer lemons and the lemons we're most familiar with differ in three ways: availability, appearance, and taste. While we can find regular lemons year-round, Meyer lemons are only available during their peak season from winter through early spring. Meyer lemons are also smaller and rounder than regular, with skin that is thinner, smoother, and more orange than yellow.
When it comes to flavor, it is not only the juice of Meyer lemons that is distinctive but also the zest, which is somewhat herbal and spicy. That being said, for most recipes, Meyer lemons and regular lemons can be used interchangeably in recipes. Just remember that the sweeter Meyer lemons don't have the same tart zing of traditional lemons.