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When I first heard there was such a thing as a Meyer lemon, I didn’t get it.  I thought, lemons are lemons and just calling this one something special doesn’t make it anything other than a lemon.  (I know.  So cynical.)

I held this belief until a few months ago, when I started reading up on Meyer lemons after finding them at the Walmart by my school.  When I found out how wonderful and magical they supposedly are, I was disappointed that I was at school, where I didn’t have the time or means to bake anything.

Luckily, a few days ago I found a bag of Meyer lemons at my local Hyvee.  I practically skipped back to the cart, I was so excited.  They were just so cute!  See, Meyer lemons are smaller than regular lemons, their skin is smoother, and they’re a slightly darker yellow.  So basically I felt like I’d just bought a bag full of sunshine.

Still, I was kind of skeptical of these beautiful little lemons.  I still sort of thought that lemons were lemons.  Obviously the only way to test this out was to make lemon bars!

I’ve never made lemon bars before, so I was nervous.  Never mind the fact that I would be switching two ingredients in my recipe: gluten-free flour for the all-purpose, and Meyer lemons for the regular.  Making regular lemon bars was nerve-wracking enough, but gluten-free Meyer lemon bars?  Daunting.

Actually, lemon bars are not really that hard, and they’re super rewarding.  The instant I started zesting the Meyer lemons, I knew I’d been wrong about them—these were no ordinary lemons.  They smelled a little sweeter, a little darker, and there was a floral element I just couldn’t put my finger on.  When I juiced them, I tasted a bit of the juice and it was definitely not your average lemon juice.  It was still sour of course, but a lot more subtle, with a lovely sweet aftertaste.

Like I said, I switched out a couple ingredients, but other than that I left the recipe as is.  I adapted it from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe.  According to my parents, Meyer lemons make a much tastier filling than regular lemons, and I totally agree.  Plus, these lemon bars are even better after spending a night in the fridge.

One downside to Meyer lemons being smaller is that it takes more of them to get enough zest and juice.  I ended up using four lemons for zest and three for juice.  Luckily I still have a few left to play with!

Meyer lemon bars

1/3 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

2 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Powdered sugar (optional)

  1. Set oven to 350°
  2. Beat butter for about 30 seconds.  Add ¼ cup of the sugar and beat until combined.  Beat in the cup of flour until crumbly.  Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2 in baking pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.
  3. Meanwhile, combine eggs, remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, lemon zest, juice, and baking powder.  Beat for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined.  Pour over hot baked layer.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and center is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Sift powdered sugar over top.

I’d recommend making these ahead and sticking them in the fridge for a few hours.

So these lemon bars have made a believer in me.  Not all lemons are created equal.  Best of all, I still have four lemons waiting to be made into delicious things.  Expect more lemony goodness to come.