Whole Meyer Lemon Bars ~ it almost seems like magic to turn a single juicy Meyer lemon into this tart & tangy lemon dessert. Magic or not, I think I’ve found the ultimate lemon bar recipe!
Whole Meyer lemon bars are the perfect winter pick-me-up dessert
We could all use a little ray of sunshine in the middle of winter, no? These lemon bars will do the trick for sure. And anyway, now’s the best time to make lemon bars because citrus it at its best in winter. I use the extra sweet Meyer lemon for these bars. Look for them next to the regular lemons in your supermarket, they’re a little bit more expensive, but so worth it.
What makes these lemon bars different from any other you’ve tried?
- Well, for one, they’re made with Meyer lemons, the hybrid citrus fruit that comes to us originally from China. It’s sweeter and the flavor has a hint of orange to it. It makes these bars so special.
- And speaking of Meyer lemons, we used a WHOLE lemon in this recipe, the only thing missing is the seeds.
- When you use a whole lemon you get the whole lemon experience, no holds barred.
Compared to regular lemons, Meyer lemons are:
- thinner, less bitter skinned (which makes them perfect for using whole)
- sweeter with a more floral flavor
- less tart and acidic
- more fragrant
- more ‘lemony’
Meyer lemons give these bars a sweeter flavor than regular lemon bars, so they’re a little less puckery. But the tradeoff is you get a stronger more complex lemon flavor, which I absolutely love. These yummy bars are like biting into a sweet lemon!
Baking with whole citrus fruit is a blast!
I love to bake with whole citrus, have you tried my Flourless Whole Tangerine Cake or my Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake? They’re made just like these bars, with the whole fruit, flesh, peel and all. The seeds, of course, are the only thing that don’t get used. Talk about zero waste!
How to decorate your lemon bars
I like to decorate the tops of my bars with thin slices of lemon, but I always blot them on paper towels first, so juice doesn’t seep out onto the bars. Even so, I like to add the slices shortly before serving because lemon juice will eventually release a little bit.
I know you guys are gonna love these :) My mouth is watering just writing about them…
More lemony treats to try ~
Whole Meyer Lemon Bars
- zest peeled from one Meyer lemon. Peel with a sharp vegetable peeler and take only the yellow part, with little to none of the white part, which is bitter.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1 whole Meyer lemon, about 4-6 ounces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F Grease and line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper or foil.
- First make the crust. Put the zest and sugar into a food processor and process until the two are well combined and the zest has completely incorporated into the sugar. You will still see tiny specks of zest, but no big pieces. Keep processing until you get to that stage.
- Add the flour, and cold butter to the bowl and pulse/process until the mixture is moist, crumbley, and almost, but not quite, comes together into a lump.
- Sprinkle the crust mixture into your prepared baking pan and pat down firmly and evenly. You should have a layer of even thickenss. Bake for about 17 minutes.
- Meanwhile make your filling. Slice your lemon and remove any seeds. Tip: do this over a bowl so you don't lose any juice. Put the lemon into a high speed blender like Vitamix. (You can use a food processor if you don't have one.)
- Add the sugar to the lemon and puree until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the container if necessary to get a smooth puree. Add in the eggs, cornstarch, and salt, and puree briefly until well combined.
- This is optional but I pour the filling mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps or bubbles. Pour the filling onto the hot crust immediately after it comes out of the oven.
- Put the lemon bars back into the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until firm and just starting to take on some golden color. Don't over bake.
- Let the bars cool completely on a rack, then pop them into the fridge to chill. When cold, remove the bars using the parchment paper 'handles', and slice into squares. Dust with powdered sugar if you like, just before serving.