Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

It is Minnesota and there is about 6 inches of snow on the ground, not exactly the time of year for a fresh fruit dessert. So what do we Northerners do when we want something sweet and bright, but can’t find berries that aren’t from the freezer or even a decent apple? We turn to citrus. Of course it doesn’t grow here, not even in the summer, but it travels well and there is such amazing variety. For these lemon meringue bars I actually use a combination of lemons, limes and Meyer lemons (for their perfume). The combination is more interesting and has a zing to it that one fruit alone won’t give.

The recipe I started with comes from a cookbook from one of my favorite bakeries in San Francisco, Tartine. They start with a brown butter shortbread studded with pine nuts and bake a smooth tangy lemon curd on top. It is a perfect combination of rich and refreshing. I pretty much follow their recipe exactly except I mix-up the citrus a bit and add a topping of toasted meringue. Oh yeah, I also double the recipe so I have plenty to give to my neighbors! My pictures of this recipe are of a double batch, so don’t be thrown off if mine look larger than yours. Read More