Meyer Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars“A chopped whole Meyer lemon adds texture and a big flavor punch to traditional lemon bars.”Julie O’Hara

INGREDIENTS:

For Crust:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For Filling:
1 whole Meyer lemon, cut into chunks and seeded
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
Powdered  sugar (optional)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-by-8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, place flour, powdered sugar, salt and zest and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles sandy crumbs. Pour mixture into middle of prepared baking dish. With your fingers, sweep mixture around dish and then press into an even layer with your fingertips. Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 15 to 17 minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 325°F.

While crust is baking, make the filling.

Trim off the thick, pithy ends and cut the whole Meyer lemon into small chunks, removing seeds as you go. Place lemon chunks in bowl of food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs and lemon juice until combined.

Whisk the egg mixture into the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped lemon. Pour filling over the hot crust and return to oven. Bake 28 to 30 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely.

Dust with powdered  sugar (if using). Cut into 12 or 16 bars and serve.

Best eaten within 24 hours. Cover and store at room temperature.

YIELD: Makes 12 or 16 bars

SOURCE: Recipe adapted from Julie O’Hara for NPR.

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