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Easy Lemon Pie Bars

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These Lemon Meringue Bars, with a soft pie crust, are the perfect citrus dessert. Bursting with lemon flavor and topped with a light toasty meringue. Perfect pie bars for sharing and a delicious lemon flavor.

I love a good pie recipe. Be sure to check out the over 18 Pie Recipes here on the site OR try my traditional lemon bars.

This post was originally published March 14, 2016. It has since been updated to include fresh photos and helpful tips.

RECIPE FEATURES

  • Make-Ahead Dessert: These dessert bars can be made up to 3 days in advance.
  • Perfect Spring Flavor: Fresh lemons give this a wonderful citrus flavor.
  • Hand Held Treat: Perfect for parties and sharing.

These pie bars filled with a homemade lemon curd and topped with the most light and delicious meringue. The end result? A tangy and sweet treat that is impossible to resist. If you love lemon, you will LOVE this recipe.

Close to a homemade lemon meringue pie, but with the added bonus of being handheld. It’s a twist on the classic lemon bar with the slight sweetness of a fluffy and sweet meringue topping.

fresh lemons on a wooden tabletop

INGREDIENTS FOR LEMON MERINGUE BARS

I already have an amazing lemon bar recipe, but the meringue on top seemed to add just a touch of pie goodness. Fluffy whipped egg whites with a touch of sugar and fresh lemon juice gives the topping a kick of tartness that really sends these over the edge. Here is what you will need to get started:

  • Flour: All-purpose flour helps give you a pie crust-type base.
  • Salt: Don’t skip the salt. It is a flavor enhancer that will really send this recipe over the top.
  • Baking powder: Be sure to double check the baking powder expiration date. If your powder has been open in the pantry for a while, chances are it has already gone bad. Always opt for a fresh box.
  • Sugar: Just a touch of sweetness to balance the tart and tangy citrus.
  • Butter: Salted butter is my go-to, but you can use unsalted.
  • Eggs: Large eggs work best in baking recipes.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: The base for the filling and a great item to have in your pantry.
  • Lemons: Fresh lemons provide juice and zest for that bold flavor this recipe needs.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON BARS WITH MERINGUE TOPPING

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, or mist with baking spray, and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and 1/2 cup sugar.
  4. Cut in the butter until the dough is crumbly.
  5. Stir in 3 egg yolks (make sure it’s just the yolk and save the whites for later).
  6. Press the crust into the prepared pan.
  7. Bakke for 15 minutes and cool completely.
  8. While the crust is cooling, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  9. Pour over the cooled crust.
  10. In a clean bowl, whip 4 egg whites until foamy.
  11. Slowly add the 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar.
  12. Beat until stiff peeks form, about 2 minutes.
  13. Spread over the top of the lemon filling and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  14. Cool completely and chill before cutting.

TIPS FOR LEMON PIE BARS

For this recipe, I opted for a more classic pie crust. Except I made it super easy. All you have to do is toss the ingredients and gently press them into your prepared pan! Just like that you have a base ready for the oven that is filled with buttery goodness.

Here are a few of our other favorite crusts to pair with this recipe:

  • Vanilla wafer crust
  • Shortbread cookie crust
  • Classic pie crust
Why are my lemon bars gooey?

This recipe uses a homemade lemon curd on top of a shortbread type pie crust. The bars will be somewhat gooey, even after baking. Chilling them will help them set and make it easier to slice when ready to serve.

Should lemon bars be refrigerated after baking?

Yes. This recipe needs to be refrigerated after baking, especially with the whipped egg topping.

How do you keep lemon meringue pie from getting watery?

Making these in advance? Avoid the meringue from getting watery by adding a teaspoon or two of cornstarch while whipping the egg whites. this helps to stabilize the meringue preventing it from weeping.

How long does this recipe last?

Cooked lemon bars will last up to 3 days, if stored in the refrigerator.

What is the best way to store lemon bars?

Cool the bars to room temperate. Cover and keep them stored in the refrigerator until ready to cut and serve.

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Craving more lemon? Try my Lemon Coconut Cupcakes!

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Lemon Pie Bars

Lemon Pie Bars

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

These Lemon Meringue Bars, with with a soft pie crust, are the perfect citrus dessert. Bursting with lemon flavor and topped with a light toasty meringue. Perfect pie bars for sharing and a delicious lemon flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • Zest from two lemons
  • 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, or mist with baking spray, and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and 1/2 cup sugar.
  4. Cut in the butter until the dough is crumbly.
  5. Stir in 3 egg yolks (make sure it’s just the yolk and save the whites for later).
  6. Press the crust into the prepared pan.
  7. Bakke for 15 minutes and cool completely.
  8. While the crust is cooling, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  9. Pour over the cooled crust.
  10. In a clean bowl, whip 4 egg whites until foamy.
  11. Slowly add the 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar.
  12. Beat until stiff peeks form, about 2 minutes.
  13. Spread over the top of the lemon filling and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  14. Cool completely and chill before cutting.

Notes

For this recipe, I opted for a more classic pie crust. Except I made it super easy. All you have to do is toss the ingredients and gently press them into your prepared pan! Just like that you have a base ready for the oven that is filled with buttery goodness.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g

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aimee @ like mother like daughter

Thursday 17th of March 2016

Lemon pie is so good, but these pie bars look even better. I love that meringue on top!!

Kelly - Life Made Sweeter

Tuesday 15th of March 2016

These bars look amazing! Love the meringue topping! Lemon desserts are my favorite!

Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

Monday 14th of March 2016

I can't get enough lemon lately! Love that meringue topping!

Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later!

Monday 14th of March 2016

I'm so glad we both love lemon! These bars are perfect!

Yvonne [Tried and Tasty]

Monday 14th of March 2016

I can tell you first hand how amazing these are. Seriously LOVE lemon, and LOVE these bars! So happy I got to have a little sample taste of them :)

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