Bars + Brownies

Whole Meyer Lemon Bars with Toasted Meringue

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
whole meyer lemon meringue bars

I’ve been working hard the last few weeks on finishing up projects, working on posts for Breadin5, and helping my kids with distance learning (which seems like another full-time job). I haven’t had much time to bake from some of the beautiful cookbooks I received the last few months, but I finally was able to sneak in some time and made these beautiful meyer lemon meringue bars from Susan Spungen’s new cookbook Open Kitchen (affiliate link).

Susan’s book is about the “concept of ‘get-ahead cooking.’ Once you discover the joy of getting ahead, you will be come a planner even if you never were before…[c]ooking is how you learn to be a good cook. Just like everything else, cooking is a practice, so as you keep cooking you’ll find yourself getting more and more comfortable and better and better at it.” 


A few things: 

*My friends over at Pure & Clear are now offering delivery for their unique ice and crystal clear ice. They also ship nationwide

*My friend Jess recorded this beautiful song over on Instagram. 

*I watched the new Emma movie and absolutely loved it. It was perfectly quirky and charming. It inspired me to also reread the novel. 

*I have been highly enjoying this Ella Fitzgerald cd. I also have this ‘chill Ella Fitzgerald mix‘ over on itunes. 

*My friend Zoe Francois is in this month’s issue of Bake From Scratch

whole meyer lemon meringue bars
whole meyer lemon meringue bars
whole meyer lemon meringue bars

whole meyer lemon meringue bars

Check out more of my bar recipes.

whole meyer lemon meringue bars

Whole Meyer Lemon Bars with Toasted Meringue

Servings: 12 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
The best parts of lemon meringue pie, made into bars! Uses a whole meyer lemon to enhance the citrus flavor.
Sarah Kieffer
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  • 9 whole graham crackers 1 package, broken into pieces (or 1 1/2 cups [150 g])
  • 1/4 cup [50 g] granulated sugar
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted


  • 1 whole preferably organic Meyer lemon, scrubbed
  • Juice of 1/2 regular lemon 1 tablespoon
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 8 tablespoons [1 stick | 113 g] unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 cup [200 g] granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup [200 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


For the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line an 8 by 8 in [20 by 20 cm] baking pan with two pieces of parchment trimmed to fit, going in both directions, with some extra hanging over for easy removal of the bars later. 
  • Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until the fine crumbs form. Add the melted butter and pulse until well blended. It should look and feel like wet sand. Transfer to the prepared pan and mix it up with your hands  to make sure the butter is well distributed. Press into the pan, going up the sides a bit, and bake for 10 minutes, or until just golden. Let cool while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  • Trim the stem end of the whole lemon and cut it into 8 pieces. Remove the seeds. Add to a blender jar (preferably a high speed blender) along with the lemon juice, egg yolks, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt and blend until very smooth. Pour over the crust (it’s ok if it’s still warm) and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling and browning around the edges. It won’t look at all set, but it will set up as it cools. Place on a cooling rack.
  • After about 10 minutes, run a small, sharp knife around the edges. Cool completely, then chill until cold. When completely chilled, carefully remove the parchment and, using a spatula, transfer to a small baking sheet (you can do this just before adding the topping). 

For the meringue:

  • A few hours before serving, make the topping. Combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in the metal bowl of a stand mixer and set over a pan of simmering water. Keep the mixture moving, using a whisk or the whisk attachment, until the sugar is completely melted and it’s hot to the touch (or 160F). Transfer to a stand mixer and beat on high speed until glossy and very stiff, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the top of the lemon bars, smooth out, and use a large serving fork to create a pattern in the meringue. 
  • When you’re ready to finish, use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue (you can use a broiler, too). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 12 to 16 squares, depending on how large you want them. 


Recipe from the cookbook Open Kitchen by Susan Spungen by Susan Spungen.
  • Reply
    Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Hi. Do you process the lemon with the peel.

  • Reply
    Monday, June 8, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Delicious recipe, i loved this recipe. I have been tried the same recipe in this blog.

  • Reply
    Monday, April 27, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    I love how this recipe doesn’t leave you with extra yolks or extra whites. And the graham cracker crust is handy! It’s tough to find flour right now. Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Bernice Baran
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 9:12 am

    These look amazing! LOVE LOVE LOVE anything with lemons!

  • Reply
    Friday, April 17, 2020 at 9:50 am

    These bars look too delicious, Sarah, and your photos are gorgeous (as always). I hope you and your family are doing well, and I’m already so excited for your next cookbook. Sending you all much love!

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