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Lemon Meringue Pie Bars

by , featured in Love Is A Pink Cake
Published by Square Peg
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Introduction

This recipe originally came from my mom, Elisabeth. She always made excellent lemon bars when I was growing up. Mom loves anything lemony and tart and I’m just the same. I’m so lucky that she is always so willing to share her recipes with me. We make these at the bakery with a torched meringue topping for fun.

It’s worth getting a small kitchen blowtorch to raise the bar of presentation in your home baking.  

This recipe originally came from my mom, Elisabeth. She always made excellent lemon bars when I was growing up. Mom loves anything lemony and tart and I’m just the same. I’m so lucky that she is always so willing to share her recipes with me. We make these at the bakery with a torched meringue topping for fun.

It’s worth getting a small kitchen blowtorch to raise the bar of presentation in your home baking.  

Image of Claire Ptak's Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
Photo by Pia Riverola

Ingredients

Makes: 9-12

Metric Cups

For the shortbread base

  • 255 grams plain flour
  • 80 grams icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 grams cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)

For the lemon filling

  • 55 grams plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 500 grams caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 - 4 lemons zested and juiced (you need about 175g/¾ cup lemon juice)

For the meringue topping

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For the shortbread base

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)

For the lemon filling

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2½ cups superfine sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 - 4 lemons zested and juiced (you need about 175g/¾ cup lemon juice)

For the meringue topping

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Method

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars is a guest recipe by Claire Ptak so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 and grease and line a 20×30cm (8×12in) baking tray with baking paper. Do not cut the corners of the paper to fit the tray, just line as tightly as possible so that the paper comes above the edge of the tray on all sides.
  2. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse briefly to combine, then add the cubed butter and pulse until it comes together in a ball.
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking tray, then bake for 20–25 minutes until golden.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a large bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk to combine. Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk again. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and stir in the lemon zest.
  5. As soon as the base is baked, remove from the oven, carefully pour over the topping and return to the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is set; it should be slightly firm and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the meringue topping into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl or it will cook the egg whites). Whisk continuously until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is very warm to the touch. If using a sugar thermometer, whisk continuously for 2 minutes, or until it reads 70–75°C (158–167°F) — whichever comes first. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) to whip the mixture into stiff, glossy peaks.
  7. Put the marshmallow into a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle (I like to use a Wilton 6B, 2B or 1M). Pipe (or spoon) the meringue onto the cooled lemon filling. You can either cover the entire tray or slice into 12 bars first and then pipe each one individually, as we do at the bakery.
  8. If you have a blowtorch, torch the top of the meringue, or if you're brave you can pop it under the grill for 30 seconds or so to get the same effect.
  9. These are best enjoyed on the same day but will keep at room temperature for 24 hours.
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/190°C/375°F/gas mark 5 and grease and line a 20×30cm (8×12in) baking tray with baking paper. Do not cut the corners of the paper to fit the tray, just line as tightly as possible so that the paper comes above the edge of the tray on all sides.
  2. Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse briefly to combine, then add the cubed butter and pulse until it comes together in a ball.
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking tray, then bake for 20–25 minutes until golden.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the flour, baking powder and superfine sugar into a large bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk to combine. Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk again. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and stir in the lemon zest.
  5. As soon as the base is baked, remove from the oven, carefully pour over the topping and return to the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is set; it should be slightly firm and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the meringue topping into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl or it will cook the egg whites). Whisk continuously until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is very warm to the touch. If using a sugar thermometer, whisk continuously for 2 minutes, or until it reads 70–75°C (158–167°F) — whichever comes first. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) to whip the mixture into stiff, glossy peaks.
  7. Put the marshmallow into a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle (I like to use a Wilton 6B, 2B or 1M). Pipe (or spoon) the meringue onto the cooled lemon filling. You can either cover the entire tray or slice into 12 bars first and then pipe each one individually, as we do at the bakery.
  8. If you have a blowtorch, torch the top of the meringue, or if you're brave you can pop it under the grill for 30 seconds or so to get the same effect.
  9. These are best enjoyed on the same day but will keep at room temperature for 24 hours.

Additional Information

Baker’s tip: You will need a piping bag and nozzle to get the shell effect, or you can simply make a nice swoopy pattern with a palette knife or butter knife like a traditional lemon meringue pie.

Baker’s tip: You will need a piping bag and nozzle to get the shell effect, or you can simply make a nice swoopy pattern with a palette knife or butter knife like a traditional lemon meringue pie.

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