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
Lemon Meringue Bars

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July Summer 2005

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

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