This is my second adventure with lemon bars, and I think it turned out better this time around. The recipe I referenced is not dairy-free, so I used Melt buttery bar in place of real butter, which gives the base of the bars a hint of coconutty flavor. I chose to only use egg whites, rather than the whole egg, in order to make them meringue-style bars. I also prefer to top them with candied lemon slices instead of powdered sugar.
Lemon Meringue Bars and Candied Lemons
2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 Cup (2 bars) Melt butter substitute, melted
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
6 medium sized lemons OR 4 tsp. grated lemon peel and 6 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 egg whites
1 Cup water
3/4 Cup cane sugar
In medium-sized bowl, mix flour, melted butter substitute, and powdered sugar. Press mixture into the base of an ungreased 9 x 12 inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, set aside two lemons for the candied lemon topping. With the remaining 4 lemons, use a fine grater to create 4 teaspoons of lemon peel. Cut lemons in half and squeeze to create about 6 teaspoons of lemon juice. Put lemon peel, lemon juice, and all other ingredients into a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat ingredients on high for 3 minutes. Hand mixing will not create enough air and the mixture won’t be fluffy. The result should be very light in texture.
Pour over crust when it is still hot and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
Candied Lemon Topping:
Next, thinly slice the two lemons set aside for the candied lemon. You want nice, even slices about 1/8-1/4″ thick. Put water and cane sugar in a small, shallow pot and boil on medium high heat to create a simple syrup. When the sugar has melted completely, add lemon slices so they don’t overlap and boil until the middle of the lemons are slightly translucent. Time needed will vary depending on how hot your water is. Place candied lemon slices on parchment paper to cool, then place on top of the cooled lemon meringue bars. The lemony sugar water can be used to make sweet lemon iced tea if desired.