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Meyer Lemon Bars

Meyer Lemon Bars
Julie O'Hara for NPR /

A chopped whole Meyer lemon adds texture and a big flavor punch to traditional lemon bars.

Makes 12 or 16 bars

For Crust

Cooking spray

3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For Filling

1 whole Meyer lemon

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)

Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse flour, powdered sugar, salt and zest until combined. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles sandy crumbs. Transfer to baking dish and press into an even layer with your fingertips. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges.

Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.

To make the filling, wipe out food processor bowl. Trim off ends and cut the whole Meyer lemon into small chunks, removing the seeds. Add to processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Set aside.

Whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the lemon juice.

Whisk the egg mixture into the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped whole lemon. Pour filling over the hot crust and return to oven. Bake 28 to 30 minutes, or until center is set but still gooey when poked with a toothpick. Cool completely.

Sift powdered sugar (if using) over the dish. Cut into 12 or 16 bars and serve.

Best eaten within 24 hours. Cover and store at room temperature.

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