Meyer lemon bars with browned butter crust
Sweet-tart Meyer lemons and a caramelized butter crust yield an out-of-this-world delicious lemon bar.
If you love fresh lemons, but find them to be just a tad too tart, I’d like to introduce you to the perfect fruit – the Meyer lemon. Named after Mr. Frank Meyer, an agricultural explorer who brought this cross-breed of mandarins and lemons to the U.S. in the early 1900s, and revived in the culinary world by Martha Stewart in the late 60’s, Meyer lemons offer a host of advantages over their more thick-skinned and tart counterparts.
Meyer lemons are rounder than lemons, with a thin, smooth skin and deep yellow-orange color. They’re also sweeter, and best of all, have a host of health benefits. Late fall and early winter is when you’ll typically see these treats show up in the grocery stores.
Once you’re searching for Meyer lemons to make these delicious bars, pick up a few extras to eat straight up. And because the peel and pith are so thin, you can also use the entire lemon in recipes such as muffins, compote, roasted vegetables, and as an edible garnish for chicken and fish.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5 Meyer lemons
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 6 eggs
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8.5x11 baking sheet with parchment paper, with enough paper to hang over sides for easy removal.
Heat butter in frying pan. Allow to sizzle until golden brown in color, and then remove from heat. Transfer to small bowl and refrigerate until hardened.
Wash and zest two of the lemons and set aside zest. Juice all 5 lemons, and strain into a mixing bowl (or simply remove seeds with a spoon). Add eggs, cornstarch, flour, powdered sugar and salt and whisk until smooth.
When butter has hardened, combine with flour, sugar and dash of salt and mix until coarse crumbs are formed. Press into parchment lined pan and bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven, and lower temperature to 300°.
Pour filling over crust and bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set in the center. Cool on a wire rack, and then refrigerate to set.
Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to cut smooth bars, wiping knife clean and re-dipping in water as needed.
*You can actually process a whole Meyer lemon and add it to the filling in this recipe, yielding a more textured filling, but with a delicious tang from the peel. If using a whole lemon, no need for extra zest, and only use the juice of 3 additional lemons.