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Lemon Meringue Pie Bars

Delightfully Tangy Lemon Meringue Pie Bars: A Zesty Twist on a Classic Dessert

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If you’re a fan of the classic lemon meringue pie but prefer the convenience of bars, then you’re in for a treat! These Lemon Meringue Pie Bars offer all the tangy citrus flavor and fluffy meringue topping of the traditional pie, but in a convenient handheld form. With a buttery shortbread crust, a luscious lemon filling, and a billowy meringue topping, these bars are sure to impress at any gathering or as a special treat for yourself. Let’s dive into the delightful details of this irresistible dessert!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice? A: While fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, bottled lemon juice can be used as a substitute if fresh lemons are not available. However, be sure to use pure lemon juice without any added sugars or flavors.

Q: Can I make these bars ahead of time? A: Yes, these Lemon Meringue Pie Bars can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. However, for the best texture and appearance, it’s recommended to add the meringue topping just before serving.

Q: Can I freeze Lemon Meringue Pie Bars? A: Yes, you can freeze these bars for up to 1 month. Be sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Q: Can I use a store-bought pie crust instead of making the crust from scratch? A: Yes, you can use a store-bought pie crust for convenience. Simply roll out the pie crust and press it into the bottom of the baking dish before adding the lemon filling.

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Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the Filling:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 medium-sized lemons

For the Meringue:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

1. Preheat Your Oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Make the Crust:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and powdered sugar. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

3. Prepare the Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well combined.
  2. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and spread it out evenly. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is set.

4. Make the Meringue:

  1. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually add the granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and the sugar is fully dissolved.

5. Add the Meringue Topping:

  1. Once the filling is set, remove the baking dish from the oven and spread the meringue evenly over the top of the lemon filling, making sure to seal the edges.
  2. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly golden brown.

6. Cool and Serve:

  1. Allow the Lemon Meringue Pie Bars to cool completely in the baking dish on a wire rack.
  2. Once cooled, slice into bars using a sharp knife. Serve at room temperature or chilled, and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes:

  • For best results, use fresh lemon juice and zest for the filling to achieve a vibrant citrus flavor.
  • When making the meringue topping, ensure that the mixing bowl and beaters are completely clean and free of any grease or residue to achieve maximum volume.
  • To achieve clean slices, dip the knife in hot water and wipe it clean between cuts.

Variations:

  • For added texture and flavor, sprinkle chopped nuts, such as toasted almonds or pecans, over the meringue topping before baking.
  • Experiment with different citrus fruits, such as limes or oranges, to create unique flavor variations.
  • For a twist on tradition, add a layer of raspberry or strawberry preserves between the crust and the lemon filling for a sweet and tangy contrast.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

  • Substitute almond flour for the all-purpose flour in the crust to reduce the carb content.
  • Use a keto-friendly sweetener, such as erythritol or stevia, in place of granulated sugar in both the filling and the meringue topping.
  • Increase the amount of lemon zest and juice to enhance the citrus flavor without adding extra carbs.
  • Serve with a dollop of keto-friendly whipped cream or coconut cream for a delicious low-carb treat.

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Indulge your taste buds with these delightful Lemon Meringue Pie Bars that offer a perfect balance of tangy lemon flavor, sweet meringue, and buttery crust. Whether served as a dessert for a special occasion or enjoyed as a sweet treat any day of the week, these bars are sure to become a favorite among family and friends. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can whip up a batch of these irresistible bars in no time. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to delight your senses with these heavenly lemony delights!

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