Meyer Lemon Bars
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Not your average lemon square– these ultra thick and creamy Meyer lemon bars sit atop a buttery shortbread crust and will be the last lemon bar recipe you’ll ever need!
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. These are indeed lemon bars, despite the orange hue the citrus slices with them might lead you to believe.
And no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you regarding the thickness of the crust and filling on these not-your-average lemon squares.
These babies are THICK. And with thick comes bursting with flavor, ultra creamy, and sure to be one of your new favorite recipes using Meyer lemons.
Now, if you’re scratching your head right now and wondering to yourself “what the heck is a Meyer lemon?” I’m here to tell you that this lemon will change your life.
It is truly one of the best winter citruses, and if you can find some in your produce section, snatch them up! They’re quite the gem!
WHAT IS A MEYER LEMON?
A Meyer lemon is a hybrid lemon + Mandarin orange citrus. It presents a little rounder than a yellow lemon, and it has thinner skin. Though it is still tart, it’s far less tart than a traditional lemon and has a touch of sweetness to it. It’s color is similar to that of an egg yolk.
While these Meyer lemon bars call specifically for Meyer lemons, a swap for regular lemons is completely fine. Or, if you’re feeling jazzy, you can do 2 parts yellow lemon to 1 part orange to achieve a similar taste of the Meyer lemon.
No matter what lemon or lemon/orange combo you choose, I’m sure you’ll agree that these Meyer lemon bars are seriously like no other you’ve had before.
So let’s talk about what’s going on here:
Shortbread crust: this a crust I’ve used over and over when I make my blueberry lemon pie bars. It’s solid, it’s flavorful, it’s buttery, and I add just a touch of zest to the crust so we’ve got lemon flavor happening everywhere.
The filling: lemon bars are, by nature, a custard dessert, using Meyer lemon juice in place of milk. There are a lot of eggs happening in this filling, which gives the bars its structure.
Also with the lemon filling, we’ve got a lot of white sugar. I typically turn to brown sugar in my desserts for its moisture and deep flavor, but we’re not looking for that in these Meyer lemon bars.
As the white sugar and the eggs cook, they create the custard that holds in all that tart lemon flavor.
And boyyyy do these Meyer lemon bars ever have a ton of flavor. This is, no contest, one of the best Meyer lemon recipes you’ll find, because I have to be honest– classic lemon bars have always been a little “eh” for me.
But I turned to my girl Ina (seriously, love her recipes) because I knew she’d have the best recipe for lemon bars, and she definitely did. I just made a few adjustments and used my tried and true shortbread base.
Listen, lemon lovers are passionate. They love lemon as if their life depends on it. Agree? Let my bars become one of your new favorite dessert recipes with Meyer lemons (or lemons or lemons + oranges).
Because if you can get those Meyer lemons in your kitchen, I guarantee you’ll want to put them in all the lemon dessert recipes you can find!
Meyer Lemon Bars
- 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- the zest of one Meyer lemon1
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 and ¼ cups (550g) granulated sugar
- the zest of 3 Meyer lemons1
- ¾ cup (180mL) Meyer lemon juice1 about 3 to 4 Meyer lemons
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
- Line an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ baking pan with foil. Leave an overhang on the sides. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, stir together the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and the lemon zest. Add the flour and stir until combined.
- Press the crust evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt until smooth. Fold in the flour, pressing out any large chunks of flour as you stir.
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake the bars for 45-48 minutes, until the filling is set2. A little jiggling in the center is ok (think Jell-O). Allow to cool to room temperature before allowing to chill completely in the refrigerator.
- To serve, remove the bars from the pan using the foil overhang. Cut the bars into desired size and dust with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- If you don’t have Meyer lemons: you can opt to use 2 parts yellow lemon to 1 part orange to achieve Meyer lemon flavor.
- Presentation: the top of the bars may look bubbly. This is ok, and is a reaction of the cooked sugar and eggs. It can show up in some batches and not others, but it is completely normal.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
Started to make your lemon bars because I wanted ones that were thicker, but the very first ingredient measurement is wrong. One cup of butter, melted or otherwise, is 240 grams. I’m afraid to waste my ingredients not knowing if the rest of the measurements are correct.
Hey, Dawn– thanks for catching the one typo in my recipe– 113g is the measurement for 1/2 cup of butter, and 1 cup of butter is actually 227g. Hope this helps.
Okay… I see you corrected the grams. So it does call for a whole cup of melted butter?
Yes, 1 cup or 2 sticks. Which by weight is 227g.
Dawn, I can assure you the rest of these measurements are correct, as I made these lemon bars a month ago and use Lynn’s recipes more than any other blogger for my baking. They are absolutely excellent and some of the best I’ve ever had. The crust is ridiculous, so I encourage you to carry on!
Thanks so much, Lauren! I love how much you love my recipes 🙂
I made these and they are way too sweet. Is 2 1/4 cups of sugar correct? I had to throw these out as they are way too sweet to even eat
Yes, 2 and 1/4 cups of sugar is correct. And the ratio of sugar to eggs is pretty standard for traditional lemon bar custard. Unless you left out the salt, I’m not sure what else to tell you!
Yes, I did use the salt. Thanks Lynn
I suggest a 9×9 pan. I only had an 8×8 and it would not accommodate all the filling, I had 1/2 cup of that luscious mixture left. (will make a cookie crust a bake in mini muffin tins) Loved the flavor and will be making it again
Hmm… It worked just fine in my 8×8! It’s possible you’re using a pan on the shorter side, but I’m glad you still liked it! Thanks, Dianne 🙂
Absolutely LOVED this recipe—it got rave reviews from my coworkers as well. I will say that 45 minutes seems way too long for a cooking time. My bars were a little toasty around the edges and the top had a slight crust. Nothing a knife and some powdered sugar can’t fix!
Thanks so much, Alyssa– the cook time insures the custard is set and less time may yield a gooey center. You want to bake it until the edges are set and it’s no longer jiggly. But yes, powdered sugar usually does the trick for aesthetics!
Welll good news and bad news. Good news was the flavor was fabulous. Bad news was lining with just tin foil definitely did not work for me and was a huge pain to pick off the sides of the bars. Personally I prefer a thin crust to thick filling so next time I may use 50% less of the dough. Will def make again though the filling was fabulous and thicker than most recipes I’ve tried. Super easy too.
Thanks for the feedback, Carmen! We typically use pretty thick foil, and thinner may not work as well. You may want to use parchment next time!