Monday, April 30, 2012

Meyer Lemon Bars

On Saturday I was in a rare baking mood and wanted to use up the Meyer lemons Jane had given me. My lemon bars have a very good reputation because I use Alice Medrich's recipe from her book Cookies and Brownies. She is a master at baking and has done all the work for us-all we need do is follow in her footsteps. I've made her lemon bars many times and they have always been a favorite of Abigail and her friends, especially Anna Lee. I made Anna Lee lemon bars for many years for her birthday. She always requested them and it was my pleasure. They're one of my favorites too.

Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than regular lemons so I have cut down on the sugar. Add more sugar if you don't use Meyer lemons. I have also been using Bob's Red Mill evaporated cane juice sugar. It seems to give baked goods a wonderfully deep flavor not unlike brown sugar.

(Meyer) Lemon Bars my way

To make the crust:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

Butter a 8" square pan on the bottom and up the sides. Preheat the oven  to 350 degrees and position a rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, do not burn. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour and mix until incorporated. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, crust should be well browned at the edges and lightly brown in the center.

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3 large eggs
grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

Make the topping while the crust is baking. Stir together the sugar and flour and whisk in the eggs. Add the lemon juice and zest. When the crust is done, slide it out of the oven without removing it from the oven and pour in the topping over the hot crust.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the middle no longer jiggles and the edges are puffed. Set on a rack to cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the top. Cut into bars to serve.

The Meyer lemons made wonderful bars. I took some to my neighbor and her family and Mike and I nibbled on the rest. I was able to smuggle a small one out to my cousin Elizabeth at work. She pronounced them the best lemons bars and the way lemon bars should taste. Enjoy!

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