O. M. G.
I know what you’re thinking… could she actually be posting a recipe post???
Like I said, O. M. G, I know!
Crazy, wild wacky stuff.
I have to tell you, I actually made these 3 weeks ago. They’re long gone. In fact, there are no cookies in this house. No baked goods of any kind except for a loaf of bread and a few pieces of naan. (the bread was homemade, the naan was not). I haven’t baked in 3 weeks.
It’s a very sad state of affairs, tempered only by the fact that I was over at friends on Friday and they had fresh baked brownies.
The Infamous Meyer Lemon
Every year, around January, I see post after post of recipes that use Meyer lemons. The sweet lemon. And every year I read in jealousy of all the lovely recipes for lemon curd, lemon breads, lemon cakes, lemon this, lemon that, that use Meyer lemons. And I have to settle with just my regular old normal lemons, knowing deep down that my lemon curd is subpar because of this.
And then this year, I went to the local greengrocer to buy some veggies and lo and behold… hidden in a corner… bags of Meyer lemons!
I was so excited I started texting other food friends “OMG Kins has Meyer Lemons!!” My responses ranged from “yeah, bought some last week” (thanks for telling me) to “Meyer what??”. Right.
Ok, so I bought a bag and took them home (after paying for them, of course!) and promptly photographed them:
They were so lovely and bright yellow! Not like normal regular yellow lemons…
I left them for a few days while I decided what to make. It had to be something special. You know, something that would be a treat and let the lemons shine.
I finally decided to make the my lemon strawberry bars but with blueberries and raspberries that I had frozen from the garden last summer. They’re so tasty and decadent and, having only ever made them with plain old boring regular lemons, I thought it would be fun to compare them with the Meyer lemon version.
Meh. They tasted exactly the same. So much for all the fuss. I guess my regular old lemons will do me just fine in a pinch. Still, these were prettier to take pictures of! 🙂
Here’s the recipe based on my Strawberry Lemon Bar recipe. I did tweak it a bit to fix a few things I wasn’t too happy with last time (less sugar to compensate for the sweetness of the lemons and more flour to help solidify the custard topping a bit better).
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup of oats
- ½ cup of powdered sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) cold, unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
- ¾ cup frozen or fresh blueberries (more if you want to use some as garnish)
- ¾ cup frozen or fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeeze Meyer lemon juice
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Leave enough paper on the sides so that you can use it to lift the bars out of the pan after cooking.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, powdered sugar, and salt.
- Cut in butter in small chunks and add vanilla and lemon zest.
- Using your hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it looks like loose dirt. You can use a food processor for this step but I prefer to use my hands.
- Spread the base mixture evenly in the pan and press it down with your hands until you have a firm base and the put it in the freezer for 30 minutes
- While the base chills, mix the berries with the ¼ cup of sugar and let stand.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Whisk together eggs and then add 1⅓ cups sugar, flour, and lemon zest and continue to whisk.
- When well combined, add the lemon juice and continue to mix.
- Remove base from the freezer and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
- When done, remove from oven and immediately spread the berries over the surface, reserving the juice/sugar mixture.
- Add the remaining juice and sugar to the lemon mixture and stir. Pour over the base and berries.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325F and return the pan to the oven and bake until the center of the lemon bars doesn’t jiggle anymore. This took almost 30 minutes with my oven and the other recipes called for about 20 minutes so keep an eye on it once you hit the 20 minute mark.
- Remove from oven and let completely cool. Slice and sprinkle with powdered sugar, lemon zest and blueberries before serving.
- I made 24 small bars but you could easily make 12-16 large bars.
No photo tips this week because I took the photos over three weeks ago and I didn’t make notes. I only vaguely remember what I did. I do know that the box of lemons was shot very late in the day – around 4pm. But it worked really well for the photo. They were backlit by the window and there was no glare because it was already twilight.
I also remember that the cut up lemon was shot with a diffuser held up to the left, against the light, and with a reflector to the right to cut down on shadows – it was quite a bright day that day.