Every year for my birthday, my pal Cayce sends me a box of Meyer lemons, foraged from her Bay Area neighborhood. What a great gift! This year I’ve been using them to perfect a lemon bar recipe. But it’s no ordinary lemon bar. This lemon bar has lavender baked into the shortbread crust.
You could make these lemon bars without lavender, but I love the unusual flavor accent. If you DO use lavender, make sure you either harvest it yourself, or purchase culinary grade lavender. Feel free to play around with whatever variations suit you. Adjust the lavender amount, try regular lemons, bake a gluten free shortbread crust. Then let me know how it goes.
What You’ll Need to Make Lavender Meyer Lemons Bars
for the crust:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. grated Meyer lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried, culinary grade lavender flowers
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
for the filling:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar plus more for dusting (optional)
- 2 Tbs. grated Meyer lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
What You’ll Do to Make Lavender Meyer Lemons Bars
Coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray or butter, and set aside. Don’t pre-heat your oven yet.
To make the crust, combine the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, dried lavender flowers, and salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse several times to combine. Add the cubes of chilled butter and pulse again until the mixture looks evenly crumbly.
Transfer the crumbs to the prepared baking dish and press them into the bottom of the pan. This will be your shortbread crust and should be pressed firmly and evenly across the dish. You may use your fingers, or the bottom of a drinking glass.
Transfer the dish to the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 325F, allowing the crust to chill while the oven heats. Bake the shortbread crust for 30 minutes or until the edges are just turning a light, golden brown. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, Meyer lemon zest and salt. Then whisk in the Meyer lemon juice, and finally the flour. Whisk until the liquid is smooth.
When the crust has baked, pour the filling on top of the warm crust and return the pan to the oven for 20 minutes. The bars should be just starting to turn brown around the edges, and the center of the pan should look set, not wiggly.
Let the bars cool on the counter for a half hour, then refrigerate for at least an hour. It will be easier to cut them cleanly if the bars are cold.
Cut the bars into your desired size, and dust them with powdered sugar poured through a fine mesh strainer. You may skip this step if you’d rather serve the bars with ice cream or whipped cream. But they’re plenty delicious all on their own!