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Lemon Meringue Bars


It's as easy as pie to make bars from smooth, tangy lemon filling and fluffy meringue atop a buttery zest-flecked crust.

  • Yield: Makes 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2005


  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 large eggs, plus 4 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Make crust: Put butter, flour, confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until well blended.

  2. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Press batter evenly into baking sheet. Chill in freezer 10 minutes. Bake until golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

  3. Make filling: Whisk together whole eggs, 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Pour over crust. Bake until filling is set, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Keep oven at 350.

  4. Make meringue topping: Put egg whites and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

  5. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread meringue over filling, swirling to create soft peaks. Bake until meringue begins to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into bars. Bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 1 day.

Reviews Add a comment

  • melbetz
    11 MAR, 2017
    This recipe is terrible. I had it in my cookbook and I read reviews while baking it so I adjusted the filling and it is still too runny even after cutting some of the lemon out. It's a waste of ingredients and time as the end result is no good. Like the others, the filling runs under the crust and wrecks it. Also it would be good if you could review without signing up. Maybe more reviews would be on here. Don't make this recipe. In the cookbook it has stupid instructions like adding one tables[filtered] to cups. The book should be called March Stewart plus a tables[filtered].
  • Krzy4quilts
    15 JUN, 2016
    These were such a disappointment. The flavor was there but the filling is so thin and wet that it soaked clear through the crust leaving a single layer of mixed filling and crust. Almost like the crust floated to the top. I like trying new recipes and generally trust a Martha Stewart recipe, but this one took 10 eggs and 2 sticks of butter. I felt it was a costly waste of expensive ingredients and is definitely not a recipe I will make again or even try to tweek to make it work.
  • MS11665884
    30 MAR, 2016
    I made these bars but the lemon filling melted through the crust and so it did not look like 3 layers. Because of the lemon filling migrating to the bottom the crust was mushy. My husband still ate them....but I would love to know how to prevent this from happening!!!