Pucker up! These lemon meringue bars, with a rich, buttery crust topped with tangy lemon curd and billowy marshmallow meringue, are the next best thing to heaven for lemonheads. And even if you’re not, the sweet-tart flavor and textures of these bars may turn you into one.
For the Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
For the Filling
3 large eggs
8 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
For the Meringue Frosting
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment or foil, letting it extend over the pan at two ends.
Make the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until fine crumbs form. Scatter the mixture in the prepared pan, and then press into an even layer. Bake until set and lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Make the filling: In a large saucepan, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, zest and juice, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly until warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, whisking until thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour the curd over the crust and spread evenly. Cover with foil and bak 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, uncover, and let cool. When cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, make the meringue frosting. Carefully remove the parchment from the bottom of the bars and, using a large wide spatula, transfer the bars to a baking sheet.
Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Set it over a pan of simmering water, (so the bottom doesn’t tough the water) and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the water and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes. Spoon the frosting over the filling, gently spreading to cover.
Finish the bars: When you’re ready to finish, use a kitchen torch or your oven’s broiler to brown the meringue. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use a knife dipped into hot water to cut bars into 12 squares, depending on how large you want them.
Keywords: lemon meringue