When life hands you lemons, or in this case, when a sweet friend MAILS you lemons… make LEMON BARS! Ridiculously, outrageously delicious, over-the-top lemon bars… (can you tell we loved this recipe?)
A couple of months ago I mailed my life-long friend, Lenita, a box containing several jars of my homemade jams and jellies, as a gift. I had no idea that she would surprise me with a box of 6 of her prized Meyer lemons, picked from her very own tree in Southern California and mailed to me right before Christmas. They were the most gorgeous lemons I have ever seen! Our son thought they were plastic, because they were so absolutely perfect!~it was a Christmas MIRACLE! (She also sent me the cool Homemade Jam Christmas ornament seen in the photo below… I hung THAT on our tree and did not cook it in this recipe- heh heh).
I was giddy with excitement (who DOESN’T like to receive wonderful surprises in the mail?), and proceeded to come up with different ways to use these beauties, so they would not go to waste. This recipe for lemon bars is one of the ways I used a portion of those lemons. This particular recipe uses the entire lemon…except for the seeds (duh!). They were fantastic! Hope you will try this recipe… I think you will LOVE these lemon bars!
Recipe Source: http://www.fridaycakenight.com/2014/12/whole-meyer-lemon-bars/
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Meyer lemon (seeds removed) A regular lemon may be substituted.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled- I used fresh)
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ Tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted (then cooled to room temp.)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra hanging over the edges on each side (this foil and foil overhang will help you to easily remove the entire pan of lemon bars at one time, after baking)
- Place the crust ingredients into a food processor or the base of a stand mixer. Process the ingredients until well combined and crumbly dough is formed. Put the dough into the foil-lined baking pan and press down on crust until dough is compacted into a solid crust.
- Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.
- While the crust is baking, make the lemon filling. Place the seeded lemon (yep... the WHOLE thing!) and sugar into a food processor. Process the lemon and sugar on high speed until the lemon is completely "pulverized". Check the mixture for any remaining seeds that might have secretly snuck into the food processor. Remove them, if you find any. They are sneaky!
- Add the lemon juice, eggs, cornstarch, and the melted butter to the lemon/sugar mixture. Pulse until mixture is smooth.
- Once crust is done baking and is removed from oven, LOWER THE OVEN TEMP. to 300 degrees.
- Pour the lemon filling over the baked crust; continue baking for 25-30 minutes, or until center is set, and is no longer "jiggly" (mine took 28 minutes).
- Remove pan to wire rack. Let cool to room temp, then place entire pan into refrigerator. Let bars refrigerate for 3-4 hours (the longer the better!) before you serve them.
- After the bars have chilled, lift the entire batch out of the pan at one time, by lifting them out via the aluminum foil that is hanging over the edges.
- Cut the bars into twelve 2" squares, then sift powdered sugar over the tops.
- Serve and enjoy. Keep remaining bars stored in refrigerator.