Confession: as I write this, I am eating one of these Easy Meyer Lemon Bars for breakfast with my coffee. OH MY GOODNESS, these are good. When we planted a Meyer lemon tree in the spring, I knew I wanted to make something extra special with its fruit. This recipe definitely fits the bill, AND it’s super easy to make!
There’s a surprising amount of variety out there for lemon bar recipes. Some call for separating egg yolks, while some call for baking the crust and cooking the lemon curd on the stovetop. Some are filled with a firm filling, some with more of a pudding-like consistency.
I wanted to make lemon bars that really featured the delicious Meyer lemons in all their tart, sweet glory, and make it as easy as possible. I whittled the options down to a recipe that only uses one bowl and one pan, does not require that you cool the crust before filling it, and uses whole eggs rather than just the yolks. I’m never making lemon bars any other way again!
Meyer lemons are not your average lemon. They are known to be sweeter than other varieties- so sweet, in fact, that you can eat the fruit by itself! This means they are a bit less acidic, and it also means you can use less sugar in the bars to sweeten it. With five whole eggs and plenty of lemon juice and zest, these scrumptious dessert bars actually maintain some nutritional value, despite the sugar and refined flour used to make them.
Not that we care too much about nutrition in our desserts, especially around the holidays, right? Right.
(Pardon me for a moment while I go retrieve a second Meyer lemon bar from the kitchen for breakfast…)
Yum. That’s better. I’m going to have to lock my fridge and throw away the key pretty soon here.
To make the crust, just mix together some butter, powdered sugar, a little bit of salt, and flour. It will be a bit of a crumbly dough that sticks together when you press it, kind of like a more doughy pie crust. Press it into a well-greased large baking pan, and bake until starting to brown.
Then, pour the topping on the crust after it’s cooled for only a few minutes- a mixture of 5 whole eggs, sugar, Meyer lemon juice and zest (from about 4 Meyer lemons), a pinch of salt, baking powder, and a little bit more flour to help firm it up. Bake until set, allow to cool, and you’re done!
Unless of course you want to get fancy and garnish the bars with more powdered sugar, lemon zest, blackberries, and mint. It makes them extra pretty to bring to holiday parties or take photos for your food blog (haha).
Can I freeze lemon bars?
Yes! I recommend freezing them individually after baking and slicing. Start by flash freezing them by placing them on a rimmed baking sheet with some space in between each bar and freezing for 1-2 hours, until they’re frozen. Then, you can wrap them each individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or zip top bag, and take them out individually as you want them. That way, they won’t freeze together or smush onto the plastic wrap before they’re frozen.
I have 5 of these delicious Meyer lemons left. What should I make? Maybe this Iced Ginger Honey Lemon Tea? Give me your other suggestions in the comments below!
Here’s the recipe for these super easy Meyer lemon bars.
Easy Meyer Lemon Bars
For the Crust:
- Liberally grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with a little bit of the softened butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix the softened butter (1 cup/2 sticks), powdered sugar (1/2 cup), and kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon) on high until well combined.
- Add the flour (2 cups) and mix on low speed until dough begins to just stick together and clump up (you should be able to form it into a shape easily with your hands, and you shouldn't see any visible flour).
- Press the dough mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan with your hands.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until just starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, to make the topping: In the same mixing bowl, mix together the 5 eggs, sugar (1.5 cups), lemon juice (3/4 cup), lemon zest (2 tablespoons), a pinch of kosher salt, and baking powder (1/2 teaspoon) on medium-high speed until well combined and pale in color.
- Add the flour (1/4 cup) and mix until smooth and not lumpy.
- After crust has baked, remove from oven and turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F.
- After the crust has cooled in the pan slightly (you should be able to touch the pan without a potholder), pour the topping in.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until set (it shouldn't wiggle when you shake the pan gently).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes.
- Cut into squares and top with powdered sugar, blackberries, lemon zest, and/or mint leaves, if desired.
- Storage: Store these in your refrigerator to keep them cool and firm.
- Use regular lemons: if you don't have Meyer Lemons, use regular lemons. You will need a few more (around 8) to get the right amount of juice, since they are smaller and less juicy. You may want to add a little more sugar to the topping as well, since they are less sweet.
- Did you know you can make your own powdered sugar?