Wondering what to do with Meyer lemons when you see them in the store? Well, you’re in luck because I love making new recipes with Meyer lemons! Like this recipe for Meyer lemon raspberry bars. Tart and sweet and such a pretty peachy orangey-red color! If you love lemon bars, but want to try something a little different, then this may be the bar for you.
Hey, it’s spring! *looks outside at the snow falling* Could’ve fooled me. 🙂
There are couple of things which aren’t fooling me though.
One is that today is my mom’s birthday!!! Happy birthday, Mom! Don’t worry, I won’t tell them how old you are. 😉 All y’all need to know is that she is older than me. My mom is my biggest fan and a wonderful, caring person. *hugs*
The second is these lemon raspberry bars. The curd is so moist and tender and not at all dry. The raspberry flavor comes through as a great counterpoint to the lemon. And they just feel so spring-like and cheerful! I think they would be great for Easter this year or for Valentine’s Day or for Fourth of July if you remembered to stash a few Meyer lemons in the freezer. (Totally do that. Lemons freeze great and are so easy to juice once they thaw!)
Though I am totally in love with these lemon bars, my original plan was to wow you with blood orange bars. Because blood oranges are awesome and I always have a giant pile in my fridge this time of year. Last year I made a blood orange compote which was soooo tasty and such a beautiful ruby red color, so I thought they’d be perfect in bars. Not so much.
Not only did blood orange bars look dull and pumpkin colored (just…no), but they didn’t even taste interesting. Toss! And start again. 🙂
Sometimes you have screw up and make exactly the wrong thing before you can figure out what you really need to do. In this case as soon as I tossed the blood orange bars, a new idea hit me – Meyer lemon raspberry bars of course!
I already researched the best ways to make lemon bars and had studied my two base recipes (Sunny Lemon Bars by Serious Eats and The Lemoniest Lemon Bars by Cooks Illustrated), so I knew my method was sound:
- crumbly, tender shortbread crust
- make the curd on the stovetop
- strain it
- and then a quick bake to set the bars
All that was left was to actually try it and hope the bars were both pretty and tasty. (Spoiler alert: They were.)
Can you freeze lemon raspberry bars?
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe.
This delicate lemon curd/custard just doesn’t freeze well and you are going to end up with a weepy mess instead of yummy bars.If you want to freeze your lemon bars, look for a recipe with stabilizers in the custard like cornstarch or flour.
How do you store lemon bars?
You can store lemon bars either on the counter or in the refrigerator. (I’m all about the fridge myself – feels safer to me.) Either way they need to be put into a sealed container and eat them in 3-4 days.
How do you cut lemon bars?
More seriously, what you need is a sharp knife, some hot water, and a cloth/paper towel to wipe the knife. Run your knife under the hot water – this will help it cut cleanly through the curd. Make a cut. Then wipe down the knife before making the next cut.
There you have it! Ooey, gooey lemon raspberry bars which are tart and sweet and great for a party!
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Meyer Lemon Raspberry Bars
- 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp Meyer lemon zest
- 8 tbsp (4 oz, 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Lemon Raspberry Curd
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp Meyer lemon zest
- 1 tbsp cream of tartar, optional
- 3 large eggs
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 cup packed raspberries
- 16 fresh raspberries
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x9 nonstick baking pan with a long piece of either parchment paper or heavy duty aluminum foil so that the liner hangs over the side of the pan.
- Add the flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Scatter the butter over the top of the flour and pulse the food processor until your dough is like coarse cornmeal and you have no visible chunks of butter.
- Pour the dough into the prepared pan, spread it out so it's even then press the dough done into a smooth layer. Bake crust until it's a medium brown, 20-25 minutes.
Lemon Raspberry Curd
- While your crust is baking, whisk together the granulated sugar, salt, lemon zest, and cream of tartar (if using). Add the whole eggs and yolks and whisk them in until the filling is smooth and uniform. Then pour in the lemon juice and whisk well. Finally, add the raspberries and mix in.
- Pour the filling into a medium saucepan and begin heating the curd over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Continue stirring and heating until your curd has become quite thick, is steaming hot, and has reached 165-170F. This should take about 8 minutes. If your curd is not starting to thick after about 5 minutes, carefully notch the heat up a little bit.
- Strain the thickened curd through a fine mesh strainer onto the browned crust. Bake the bars for 8-12 minutes, or until the filling is set and firm.
- Cool the bars completely to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours, then chill them in the refrigerator for another hour. (This makes them easier to cut cleanly.)
- Take the bars out of the refrigerator, gently run a knife along the two edges of the pan which aren't lined, and pull them out of the baking pan onto a cutting board.
- Run a sharp knife under hot water and cut into squares, wiping down the knife after each cut. (And under hot water again as needed.)
- Just before serving, using a fine mesh strainer, dust the bars with confectioners' sugar and top each bar with a fresh raspberry.
- Bars can be stored for up to 4 days in a sealed container. Do not top with raspberry until you are ready to serve them.
- If your filling is done, you can use the crust right out of the oven, or set it aside while you finish up.
- Squish the raspberries into the measuring cup so you have packed half cup and not a half cup of mostly air.
- Either fresh or frozen raspberries work in the filling.
- The cream of tartar is used to increase the tartness of the lemon filling.
- The filling on these bars is very moist, meaning that confectioners' sugar melts into them quite quickly. Dust them with the sugar just before serving.
- This recipe was inspired by Sunny Lemon Bars by Serious Eats and Lemoniest Lemon Bars by Cook's Illustrated.