Zingy lemon bars with meringue are the perfect springtime dessert. They are fresh, fruity and absolutely delicious. It’s easier to bake these bars than a full lemon tart, making this a perfect recipe for a quick, stress-free weekend treat.
Spring is here! After six miserable, rainy and grey months, it’s nice to see our surroundings changing. The trees are getting greener each day (by the way, have you ever noticed how many different shades of green nature can produce? It’s absolutely amazing and mind blowing!), the sun is shining and finally I can change my winter coat to a light trench coat or even a leather jacket. Seriously, what can be better than this?
I don’t want to sound too romantic, or too crazy, but the truth is that weather has a massive impact on my mood. It feels like I’m finally waking up from a deep winter sleep. I feel more energized, more creative and I’m in a much better mood. Of course, the fact that shops, restaurants and gyms have finally re-opened has had a massive impact as well. It feels that slowly, slowly, everything is getting back to normal. Hopefully this time in a more conscious way, with the understanding that constantly running through life without stopping to pause, to breathe, is simply not sustainable.
To celebrate these lovely changes, I decided to bring a drop of summer into my kitchen and to be honest, what can be better than a zingy, fresh, sweet lemon cake? I’m absolutely obsessed with using citrus fruits in my bakes. I think they help elevate all the ingredients and bring bakes to life. It’s no wonder that, during the first sunny weekend here in the UK, I decided to bake zingy lemon bars with meringue and celebrate all those lovely citruses. Blood orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime – all these fruits bring different tastes to the bake and lift your taste buds.
Tips for the Best Lemon Bars
Lemon tart, cake or bars are such a lovely dessert. For me, this is the best treat in spring and summer time. This recipe is not complicated at all, but before we jump in, I’d like to share some tips and swaps:
- Always use cold butter – cold butter gives the crumble texture for the dough. Try to work as fast as possible while you are making it. If you feel the butter starting to melt, put the dough into your fridge to chill.
- It might sound obvious, but don’t add too much flour. It is tempting to heavily flour your surface, but the breadcrumb texture is actually what you are looking for.
- Use any citrus fruit you have. If you want, you can keep it simple and just use four lemons for this recipe.
- Making meringue is not tricky! Just add the sugar very slowly and make sure it is whisked in properly.
If you are looking for more fresh and zingy dessert ideas, you can try these:
Rich Chocolate Cake with Orange Cream and Chocolate Pudding
Soft Coconut Cookies with Clementines
Chocolate Truffles with Hazelnuts and Clementines
160g cold butter
55g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
120g caster sugar
2 lemons (zest)
1 blood orange
1 egg white
60g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with a baking sheet.
- Make the crust: combine the butter, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. You are supposed to end up with a texture similar to breadcrumbs.
- Take the prepared baking tray and add the dough into it. Press the dough firmly against the bottom. Poke it all over with a fork.
- Bake the dough for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the filling: squeeze the juice out of the fruits (you will need 150ml in total), zest one lemon and one lime. Whisk the eggs and egg yolk together. Add the caster sugar, lemon and lime juice with the zest and flour. Mix everything together.
- After the crust is baked, pour the zingy filling and bake for 20 more minutes.
- Prepare the meringue: start whisking the egg white and slowly add caster sugar. Whisk until you get soft peaks. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag.
- After the filling is baked, pipe the meringue on a top and bake for 10 more minutes or until it gets golden.