By now you have probably seen a fair share of meyer lemon recipes. It’s like meyer lemons are the new salted caramel lemon*.
Since I’m so picky when it comes to lemon desserts, I have to get really excited about an idea or recipe before trying it. Well, it just so happens that a few months ago, I had an amazing lemon bar with a buttery crumb topping that I’ve wanted to replicate ever since. It was moist and rich with the perfect balance of crumb topping to tangy lemon filling that just melted in your mouth. Instead of playing with a regular crumb topping recipe, though, I thought I’d test out my favorite shortbread bar and swap out the filling for a meyer lemon layer instead.
The result- exactly as I had hoped. If you like the flavor of meyer lemons and enjoy perfect buttery shortbread, you will love these.
Let’s be real, it is still a lemon.
Meyer Lemon Shortbread Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon grated meyer lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice (~ 1 lemon)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pre-heat oven to 325
Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside
Sift flour; set aside
Beat butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy; mix in vanilla until will combined
Stir in flour just until combined
Press half of the dough in to prepared dish and bake for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown; shape remaining dough into a disk and wrap tightly with seran wrap; chill in refrigerator
When bottom layer is done, set aside to cool and prepare filling
Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour; pour over crust
Bake crust and filling for 20-25 minutes or until filling is starting to set
Remove from oven and top with remaining dough but crumbling dough into pieces and distributing evenly over filling
Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes or until top of crumbs is golden brown
Store bars in refrigerator but are best brought to room temperature before serving
Shortbread recipe from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey; Filling adapted from Smitten Kitchen
On another note, I impulsively bought my meyer lemons at Costco. Some of them were used in these bars and a couple of others went into a scallop marinade. I still have quite a few left, what should I do with them?
I absolutely love lemon bars–and the addition of shortbread is sort of genius!!! Love this!
It is my dream to have a Meyer Lemon tree. You can get them potted. I think it would be marvelous to go out and pick some whenever you wanted. I like lemon raspberry tea bread.
That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?!
These look great! And I love that they’re bars (easier than cookies!) In another house in San Diego that we lived in, we had a Meyer Lemon tree in our backyard as well as a full size HUGE lemon tree that was planted in 1923 and had no less than about 300 lemons on it, at any given time year round!
That is amazing, I would love a meyer lemon tree… or really any fruit tree!
I love lemon bars and I never ever have them. That is a problem.
And I always throw a few wedges into my water- it’s really good for you, antioxidants and metabolism boosts and all that.
I did do that with some of the lemon, I should more often, though. I’m sure it will make me lose 5 pounds (ha).
I actually have never baked with Meyer lemons, but these bars sound absolutely lovely and something I would really like!
What a beautiful dessert! I wish I had these for dessert tonight!
These bars sound delicious! I love that you have put a crumbly topping on them making them even better than the classic!
What an amazing bar! I totally need these in my life.
I know I’ve recently fallen for Meyer lemons as well and am excited to try out this gelato!
Thanks for the link, Cara!
they look really good! I haven’t made lemon bars before but I would love to try your recipe, I don’t know in what other things you can use lemon, maybe in a dressing or in a glaze
Oh, these look tasty. I love anything lemony. You should make avgolemono soup with your lemons. I can’t get enough of that stuff.
I don’t mind all the recipes because I feel like I neglect the little bad boys in my house. But my step mom would certainly love me to whip up a batch of these for her. They look perfect.
I just started paying attention to lemon desserts and I am obsessed with anything meyer lemon! These bars look amazing!! Plus lemon desserts always make me think of summer and I’m dyinggg for summer to come :)
Me too, I can not wait for the warm weather!
I love meyer lemons! And these look so perfect! I love the buttery shortbread!
love it! my parents have meyer lemon trees, and right now it looks like we have a meyer lemon orchard…there are SO many. I will have to try these with the goodie bag I picked up from them this weekend :) xx
So jealous of that!
These look incredible! I’m on a big lemon kick, and shortbread is one of my all-time favorites. Pinned!
Those bars look really good!
I love lemon flavours so this looks right up my street especially with that buttery shortbread topping!
I think you should make a pound cake with the rest of the lemons and then send me half!! The topping on these bars is making me drool. Oh how my hubby would love these. Great job Lauren!
Good idea on both counts:-)
I love anything lemon and when they have a crust like that — I’d gladly take that entire pan! :)
These look seriously good, and I love that first photo – so pretty!
Gorgeous photos, my friend! I have not worked with Meyer Lemons, but they are on my list. I agree with you about the lemon dessert thing…sometimes I’m totally into it and other times, I just need some chocolate.
Hi! These sound so good! I just wish we could get meyer lemons here.
You could make curd or pie with the leftovers.
I’ve never even had a meyer lemon. I feel like I must be missing out on something amazing although I wonder how they can be so much better than normal lemons. These look amazing! I love lemon desserts. How can anyone be sad when eating something really deliciously lemon-y? It’s just not possible.
They are basically in the middle of a lemon and an orange… if you love lemon desserts, you would definitely like these!
Aww, but that’s like key limes. If I want lime, then I want lime and not something between a lemon and a lime. And if I want a lemon, I want a lemon and not something between a lemon and an orange. But you’re right! I’m sure I’d love them. I need to have a more open mind and all that. :)
Haha my husband actually said the same thing!
I love Meyer lemons so much that my husband bought me a Meyer lemon tree for Mother’s Day a few years ago. Now I’m seeing recipes for them all over the place which is fantastic! I will have to give this one a try. Thanks for posting!
What a fabulous and thoughtful gift! I would love to be able to pull fresh lemons form a tree.
I’m glad you said something about the Meyer Lemon uprising…I have been wondering what is going on with all the meyer lemon recipes popping up. Nevertheless, your recipe looks great and your photos are beautiful!
Love Meyer lemons, and the shortbread bars look fabulous!
Mmm, these look so elegant and lovely. Perfect with a cup of tea :) Great idea!
What great looking bars! Funny, I made Meyer Lemon Curd today :) My first time making much of anything with lemons. I might have to pick up another bag tomorrow, I have never done a lemon bar before!
Oh lemon curd sounds like a fun idea!
I’ve definitely been on that meyer lemon kick lately! These bars look fantastic :) Lemon desserts are my grandmother’s favorite, and I’ve bookmarked these to make for her when I’m home this summer. Thank you!
Yay for Meyer lemon love! I would make lemon curd with the rest. I have a good low fat version on my blog!
I am fanatical about Meyers and love what you’ve done with these bars! Adding the crumble on top is pretty genius.
I forgot you made that lemon curd!
I love lemon anything and these bars certainly fit the bill! A little trick I learned from an Aunt of mine, for the topping, grate the cold pastry over the filling with a hand-held food grater, coarse side. Works like a dream!
That is a great idea! I also just learned to do that with cold butter before mixing it into the dry ingredients for pastry.
I love lemon bars! I find they’re relatively easy to make and usually I always have the ingredients at home.
Looks yummy! I have yet to taste a meyer lemon :( boo
Lauren: I just have to share this with all of you …… because you all share the excitement over food that I do …. and because I just have to share my excitement with someone!
I posted the other day that I wish we could get meyers in Canada.
Well yesterday we went to Costco and staring me in the face were MEYER LEMONS!!!!!
I was so excited my mama thought I was crazy!
I picked up two containers. They have 18 lemons in each container.
This will keep me very busy.
Thanks for letting me share this.
Really I thought I would never see one this side of the border!
Thank you so much for your note, Charlie! I love hearing about food-related excitement:-) My Costco meyer lemons definitely made me happy. Can’t wait to hear about what you make!
I still haven’t had a Meyer Lemon! I know, what’s wrong with me. I’ve got to pick up that same bag of Costco and bake away with them :). I’ll start with these bars!
Cut up the lemons and put them in your water?
Good idea, do you want some too:-)
Ummm, lemon pastry is pretty much my happy place.
Please send me the entire batch :) These look ammmmazing!
Oh yeah! Now this is really putting me in the mood for springtime! Yummy! :)
Lauren, these look like the perfect antidote to the surplus of meyer lemons inhabiting my fridge lately. I bought some on a whim and made cupcakes (blog post coming soon) and now have 8 (million) left and they need a good home. If I were a Meyer lemon, I certainly wouldn’t mind living in shortbread. :) Thanks for the inspiration!
These look fantastic, I’m always up for a new lemon bar recipe!
I made these tonight, and while they were very pretty the cooking times were all
Wonky. The shortbread parts took about twice as long and the lemon part took about half as long. Luckily I kept an eye on them!
Thanks for letting me know, Rachel! What did you bake them in? Maybe since I used Pyrex that was part of the difference. I hope they were delicious, anyway!
Hi Rachel- I just checked the recipe again and figured out what went wrong, I had double the amount of ingredients for the crust. It is fixed now and I’m so sorry about that mistake!