Meyer Lemon Bars

 My Papa's yard is full of orange, lemon, grapefruit, and fig trees. When I was little, my grandparents would watch me while my mom worked and every day I would enjoy mashing up fruit I found on the ground  in my playhouse, pretending to cook. When he gave me some of his Meyer lemons the other day, I wanted to make something that would really allow their amazingly fresh, and tartly sweet flavor to shine. These lemon bars were just perfect! I especially love that this recipe uses fresh lemon juice and zest, creating a much deeper and richer taste in every bite!

Meyer Lemon Bars
Makes 16 two-inch bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1cup flour

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
2 tablespoons flour

Shortbread Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth.
3. Add the flour and zest and beat until the dough just starts to come together.
4. Press onto the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes, or just until lightly brown around the edges. 
5. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

Lemon Filling:
1. Beat the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. 
2. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. 
3. Fold in the flour. 
4. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 17-20 minutes, or just until the filling has set.
5. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 
6. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.
(Adapted from Joy of Baking)

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