I toyed with the idea of naming them Lazy Day Lemon Bars, but decided to go with Magical Meyer Lemon Bars. Either name fits because there's no zesting or juicing. Just slice up the lemon(s) and pick out the seeds and throw it in the food processor (or, maybe, the blender). You probably don't even need to pick out the seeds, but I wasn't in the mood for experiments today; I was in the mood for a surefire lemon dessert.
The first time I made, or even heard of anyone making, a dessert with the whole lemon was when I was a young girl and my mother got the very first Cuisinart model on the market. Looking through the little cookbook that came with the machine, we got very excited about a cake that used the whole lemon. But on further reading, we saw that first you zested then you juiced; nothing novel about that. So we experimented and came up with our own cake that actually used the whole lemon.
Lemon, especially Meyer lemon, is just about my favorite flavor of all time. I'll pass over the chocolate and go straight for the lemon dessert every time. And I love the sound of all the words that describe the flavor of lemon: bright, vibrant, zesty, zingy, tart, tangy ... Aaaahh. And, most important of all, it's perfect with a nice cup of tea!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that you must use Meyer lemons for this recipe. Using another variety of lemon changes everything. Other varieties are more sour and have a much thicker layer of bitter pith, so adjustments would have to be made.
Whether you're saying 'welcome' to spring or 'good riddance' to winter, Meyer lemons say it well! What is your favorite dessert at this time of year?
Magical Meyer Lemon Bars
(Makes one 8x8x2-inch pan)
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* To make crust gluten-free, just replace the unbleached flour with the following: 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sorghum flour, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 3/8 teaspoon xanthan gum.
6 ounces (1 large or 2 small) Meyer lemons (Use unsprayed, unwaxed organic lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8x2-inch pan with cooking spray. You can also line the pan with one of these handy dandy 8-inch parchment squares with lifting tabs.
2 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Spread evenly in prepared pan, pressing crust about 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until well browned. Remove from oven; reduce heat to 325 degrees.
3 While crust is baking, start the filling. On a plate (so as to catch all the juice) cut the lemon(s) into 1/4-inch slices and remove the seeds. Place the lemon slices and juice in food processor (a blender might also work) along with the sugar and cornstarch. Process for 45 seconds. Let stand to macerate a little until crust is done.
4 When crust is done, remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Add eggs, butter, vanilla and salt to lemon mixture. Process for 30 seconds. Pour the filling over the hot crust. Bake at 325 degrees for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until it feels slightly firm to the touch.