Lemon Meringue Bars

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I may have mentioned here that my dad loves his pies. I think he would be pretty content no matter what kind of pie was served on the table but mom and I know his all time favorite has to be the classic Lemon Meringue Pie.

Fortunately for him, that is also one of Ty’s favorite pies so I make it for them often enough.

 

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This year for our annual Father’s Day barbecue, instead of pie, I decided to change it up a bit and made these Lemon Meringue Bars for them instead.

Two reasons.

Bars are a lot more convenient to transport and serve at a family barbecue.

They require a lot less effort to make than the pie but taste equally as fab :)

I made these the morning of the barbecue with plenty of time to spare.

 

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These bars are great if you are craving for a Lemon Meringue Pie but don’t want the effort that comes with making and rolling out the dough for a pie crust.

 

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Instead, the bottom layer is a made out of a buttery shortbread crust sturdy enough to serve as the ideal backdrop for a sweet and citrus-y lemon custard.

The custard had just the right amount of clear lemon flavor without a hint of lip-puckering tartness. My family thought these had the perfect balance of sweet and sour but if you like your lemon desserts with a stronger punch of lemon flavor, then feel free to add more :)

 

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Finally, the bars are topped with a soft fluffy cloud of caramelized meringue.

My dad prefers a browner meringue while Ty likes a lighter colored meringue so I made half of the bars with a lighter meringue and left the other half under the broiler a little longer to create a browner meringue.

[Be careful to check and watch closely in the broiler so the meringue does not burn]

 

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There are a few steps involved when making the bars but they all come together pretty quickly. It was definitely worth the effort. Best of all, they don’t require a mixer or rolling pin:)
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These little lemon bars were very addicting and it was hard for any of us to stop at just one.

I will definitely be making these summery bars again :)

 

 

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Lemon Meringue Bars

Makes about 16 bars

Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • finely grated zest from 2 medium lemons
  • 1 cup butter, cut in cubes, slightly softened but still cold

Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, (around 4 or 5 medium lemons )
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • finely grated zest from 2 medium lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt

 

  1. Prepare meringue first to avoid separation from the filling. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric stand mixer or handheld beater until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue beating on high until thick and glossy or until stiff peaks form. Set aside. IMG_4057.jpg
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest together. Add the butter in one by one and incorporate into flour by using a pastry blender or rubbing the butter in with your fingertips until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Press into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until crust is set and edges have slightly browned. IMG_4016.jpg IMG_4023.jpg IMG_4033.jpg
  3. Prepare filling while crust is baking. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, sugar and salt until sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour hot mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until well combined. Add vanilla extract and stir. Fill on top of cooked crust and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the middle of the lemon filling is firm and no longer wobbly. IMG_4014.jpg IMG_4028.jpg IMG_4035.jpg
  4. Spread meringue topping evenly over lemon filling. Bake for another 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Or for a browner meringue, turn on broiler and leave in for 1 minute checking very often to make sure there is no burning. Cool on counter for 30 minutes before transferring to refrigerator to cool completely. . IMG_4058.jpg
  5. Lift out of parchment paper and slice into bars.

 

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Adapted from: Zoe Bakes and Baking Bites

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Lemon Meringue Bars
 
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • *
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ tablespoon of cornstarch
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • finely grated zest from 2 medium lemons
  • 1 cup butter, cut in cubes, slightly softened but still cold
  • *
  • *
  • Filling
  • *
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice, (around 4 or 5 medium lemons )
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • finely grated zest from 2 medium lemons
  • ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • *
  • *Meringue
  • *
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Prepare meringue first to avoid separation from the filling. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric stand mixer or handheld beater until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue beating on high until thick and glossy or until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest together. Add the butter in one by one and incorporate into flour by using a pastry blender or rubbing the butter in with your fingertips until it ressembles coarse bread crumbs. Press into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is set and edges have slightly browned.
  4. Prepare filling while crust is baking. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, sugar and salt until sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour hot mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until well combined. Add vanilla extract and stir. Fill on top of cooked crust and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the middle of the lemon filling is firm and no longer wobbly.
  5. Spread meringue topping evenly over lemon filling. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on counter for 30 minutes before transferring to refrigerator to cool completely. Lift out of parchment paper and slice into bars.

 

Comments

  1. Marion - Make This Dish says:

    These look incredible! Love lemon desserts!

  2. Becky - Bread & Batter says:

    I am so making this.

  3. Lemon meringue bars are such an excellent idea, Kelly! Definitely so much more transportable and great for summer cookouts. I love, love lemon desserts. How great you customized it for your dad and husband. I’m sure they appreciated it and sounds like Father’s Day was wonderful. I’m really craving one of these right now…definitely “dangerous” but yum!

    • Lemon desserts are one of my favorites too. Father’s Day weekend was a nice time spent with family and lots of food:) Hehe thanks so much Monica:)

  4. Gina - Good Eating Days says:

    These bars are right up my alley! Love anything sweet with lemon!

  5. Sarah - Light Meals Weekly says:

    Yes please, I enjoy lemon pie and this sounds great!

  6. I love making bar versions of my favorite pie type desserts – so much easier to transport! Plus, I always like how they look as a bar (and different than their “normal” form!)

    • Thanks Ashley! I agree, a lot of bars tend to look prettier to me than regular pies…like you said maybe because it’s a nice change from the norm:)

  7. I love anything lemon and these lemon bars look delish! So nice of you to bake for your Dad and hubby. :) Have a great week Kelly!

  8. One of my hubby’s favorite desserts…in bar form! What a terrific idea!!!

  9. I love anything lemon!! this looks great!

  10. Kelly, love how you changed your mind from the pie and made them into these cute bars instead! So funny, bcz on Father’s Day I did something similar for my husband…but I made my bars into a pie! Pinning!

  11. You know, I don’t think I ever had a proper Lemon Meringue bar in my entire life…. but I need this recipe in my life. Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. Fabulous idea, Kelly! Your Lemon Meringue Bars look divine! Simplicity is so important with baking and planned summer activities. Perfect lemon pie fix in bar form for summer picnics! xo

  13. Holy lemon meringue bars! What an awesome idea to turn a classic pie into bar form. Beautiful photos too!

  14. What a fun idea – that meringue looks amazing!

  15. Lemon meringue is definitely one of my favorites. I recently made a pie – key lime pie – into bars! So much easier! These photos are so pretty. I love lemon anything!

  16. These bars look so good. I feel like this would be less intimidating to make than a lemon meringue pie. A perfect summary treat. :)
    Tina @ Tina’s Chic Corner recently posted…Lemon Blueberry Loaf

  17. I love lemon meringue pie! You’re so right, turning these into bars is genius! So easy to transport and share with the rest of the family. :) Thanks for sharing.

  18. Lemon meringue! Love the citrus in sweets, and it looks really pretty!! <3

  19. Me thinks this will be made Friday night for my guests :) yummy

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