January 20, 2008

Meyer Lemon Bars

I have a problem that I doubt will elicit much sympathy- I am in possession of more Meyer lemons than I know what to do with. It is definitely Meyer lemon season here in southern California- they're at every stand in the farmer's market, and dirt cheap too. I bought a massive bag before Christmas, because I was going to make several batches of lemon curd as gifts and figure I'd need a lot of lemons. Plus they were 4 for a dollar, and I'm not one to resist a bargain.

Even after making the curd, I had 6 lemons left over. Ok, lemon bars! Easy enough.

But the lemon bars only required 2 small lemons, which still leaves me with 4. Hmm...I made lemon drop martinis...squeezed lemon juice in my tea...added a teaspoon of zest to pancake batter (really good)...but there are still more lemons to go. It's like a bottomless pit of lemons, right in my refrigerator.

Oddly enough, the LA Times had a feature in their food section last Wednesday called "100 things to do with a Meyer lemon". Clearly my problem is solved. My favorite suggestions:

4. Make Meyer lemon-cardamom ice cream [recipe on the website!]

16. Infuse your favorite olive oil with Meyer lemon peel

35. Throw a Meyer lemon for your dog to catch and play with; you'll lose the lemon, but your dog's breath will smell fantastic.


Meyer Lemon bars


1 cup, minus 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra to decorate finished bars
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp table salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cold, cut into 1-inch pieces

Lemon Filling
2 large eggs , beaten lightly
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1.5 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp grated meyer lemon zest
1/3 cup meyer lemon juice, strained
8 tsp milk
pinch table salt

**note: ideally, you should time this so that the filling is ready to go when the crust comes out of the oven, so that you can pour the filling into the hot crust.

-Preheat oven to 350 F.
-Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, or line with one sheet parchment or wax paper, then lay a second sheet crosswise over it so that the surface of the whole pan is covered (see photo at bottom of page for an illustration).
-Crust: Combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or fingertips until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal (can also do this in a food processor).
-Sprinkle mixture into pan and press firmly with fingers into even, 1/4-inch layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2-inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
-Filling: While the crust is baking, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in another bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, milk, and salt and blend well.
-When crust is finished baking, remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
-Stir filling mixture to reblend; pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes.
-Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Grab the parchment sling and (carefully) transfer to cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars with a pizza cutter or knife (wipe knife between cuts, or it gets all sticky).
-Dust with powdered sugar.

Will keep a few days covered and refrigerated.


Marcia said...

Yum! I'm drooling into my cup of tea...

Shannon said...

Hello Maddy,

In the last few months, you may remember receiving an email invitation to become a part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher Program. With all the recipe-writing and food photography to be completed, we know emails can easily get lost in the shuffle, so Foodbuzz would like to re-extend our offer of inviting you to be a part of our food blogger network. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.

I love Meyer Lemon desserts.


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com

Anonymous said...

My mom has 2 large Myer Lemon bars here over in Texas. She gives them away, bakes with them and still has too many. She squeezes the juice out and puts them in ice cube trays anf freezes them. Then dumps the cubes once, frozen, into baggies and store in the freezer. The cubes do not really stick together, so you can grab one or more when neede. Great for out of season, when you wnat Meyer Lemons and there are none to be had!