Meyer Lemon Almond Bars

2014-02-02 10.25.01

Meyer Lemon Almond Bars

I have been painstakingly nurturing a Meyer lemon tree for years now.    It has survived being moved back and forth from the greenhouse to the patio, a couple of tremendous windstorms (one even turning it over and breaking the large clay pot it was in), leaf drop and curl, and my brown thumb.

I was so frustrated because we would always get lots of blossoms but the small fruits that would form would drop off.  We finally asked a friendly nursery owner what to do and she suggested that we spray the blossoms with a natural fungicide.    It worked and I recently harvested twenty lemons off the tree.

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That’s the good news.   Now for the bad news.

I think that the greenhouse got too cold and I may have killed my tree.   I know that my in-laws in Houston have kept their Meyer lemon tree alive on the back fence and it has seen a few cold spells.  I am hopeful mine will leaf out again soon.  Please send good thoughts my forlorn tree’s way.

I need to use my small harvest of lemons up quick so I tried my hand at converting a UK recipe for lemon drizzle cake.   Apparently there is no even way to convert grams and milliliters to cups and ounces.   I gave it a shot but this was the results.

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An ooey gooey fallen mess.

But, I didn’t think I could screw up lemon bars.

I found a basic recipe in an old cookbook and amped it up a bit by adding almonds.

Meyer Lemon Almond Bars
based on Lemon Bars from Cornsilk

For crust:
1/2 c. chilled butter cut into cubes
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sliced almonds

For filling:
2 farm fresh eggs
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 c. sliced almonds

1/4 c. powdered sugar (optional but highly recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Make the crust.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, blend butter, sugar, and flour until resembling a corn-meal like consistency.   Add almonds and mix slightly.  2014-02-01 13.58.44

Prepare an 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray.   Press in crust mixture.   Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Clean bowl and whisk attachment.   Make filling.   Add eggs and beat for about one minute.   Add sugar, lemon juice, flour and baking powder.   Beat until incorporated.  Pour filling mixture over the pre-baked crust.   Carefully sprinkle almonds over filling.  Return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.   Allow to cool and cut and serve.

Note:   If using regular lemons, you may want to increase the sugar amount in the filling to 1 cup.   Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter.

These turned out much better than my lemon drizzle cake.

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 Now seriously, please take a moment and think good thoughts for my lemon tree.


If you’re snowed in this week, you might check out my Foodie Reads and What I’m Reading Now and Food in Film which were all recently updated on my last snow day.

35 comments to Meyer Lemon Almond Bars

  • Oh I’m so sorry about the tree! Happy thoughts! Pretty bars…

  • How exciting to be able to harvest so many lemons, Debra! I wouldn’t give up on that tree quite yet. Sometimes the energy it take for them to bear fruit just wears them out. (something like a low immune system:) If I were you, I’d give a few of the limbs a bit of a pruning. Give it a few weeks and see what happens. If that doesn’t stir it, I would put it in a black plastic bag with an apple peel in it and see if that stirs it back into action. I know it sounds strange but the important thing is not to give up!

    I am so bad at measurement conversion. I often see recipes I would like to try but I couldn’t begin to change the measurements. I chalk that up to my horrible math skills:) The Lemon Bars would go wonderfully with my morning coffee. A taste of sunshine would brighten my bluster snowy morning. Thanks for sharing, Debra…fingers crossed:)

    • Wish I could send you a bug blast of sunshine. (I could use one, too—another snow day here.) So, what does the apply peel do?? Intrigued!!!

      • From what I understand, apple peels release a gas which makes some plants think it is time for them to do something, anything. For instance, I have a Pineapple plant growing in the house for about three years now. (yes from a store bought pineapple) They take a long time to grow apparently. If I were to put the plant in a black bag with an apple peel or two, it would eventually make the pineapple plant think it was time to fruit. I know people that have done it and it works! If you have ever used an apple peel in your brown sugar to keep it from getting hard, I think the principle is the same. It sure isn’t going to hurt, Debra. You would probably be safer with the apple peel rather than pruning but I would probably do both! Good Luck!

  • I wish I could give you some useful advices on the lemon tree…..
    Beautiful lemon bars!

    • Most useful advice? Make sure the heater is running in the green house when it is 10 degrees outside!!! (I am afraid I also lost a pencil plant and some hibiscus.)

  • We had a lemon tree at our last place that did the exact same thing. I never was able to get any lemons off of it before we moved away. Not to worry, I will buy lemons for these nutty lemon bars. What a great idea!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  • Taking On Magazines

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for your lemon tree! It’ll come back … nature just has a way. I am SO glad that you showed the photo of the failed bread. It may not look pretty, but I think I’d eat it anyhow. Odd to say but it looks like it still tasted fantastic. That being said, I could definitely handle the lemon bars!

    • The ends were still good! 🙂 We did eat them. I had better success today with a recipe I didn’t have to convert. Will post it soon.

  • Hey – noticed you placed an FFG Badge on your site – Thx – I’ll get you on my blogroll today 🙂

  • I love Meyer lemons! When we lived in Florida we had a tree, and got bumper crops. I hope your tree survives — store-bought ones aren’t as good as your own, and are so expensive. Anyway, sorry about the bread (I would have devoured it anyway!) but really wonderful looking bars. Good stuff – thanks.

  • Leslie David

    I love their lemony lusciousness.

  • I sure hope your tree will surprise you and have many more years of lemon production. Your bars look terrific, and I’m with John…I would have eaten all around the sunken middle of your loaf 🙂

  • What gorgeous bars, almond and lemon are so tasty together 😀
    I am jealous of your tree!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Oh no, I hope that tree survives. After all the nurturing I would think it would fight to survive! Lovely recipes, I have always enjoyed lemon in desserts and foods. Sending good vibes to your tree!

  • These bars look great, I can practically smell them if I close my eyes. Wishing your tree some great vibes!

  • mjskit

    Congratulation on your fresh crop of Meyer lemons! They’re beautiful! I’ll keep my finger crossed that your tree survives. Well, the cake may have fallen, but I bet it still tasted good. The top has the look of sugary goodness. However, I do love those lemon bars! Lemon bars have always been a weakness for me and these made with meyer lemon would be extra special. Great choice!

    • Thanks, M.J. They were extra special because we grew them ourselves. Now if we can replicate the process. Hopefully that won’t be with a new tree.

  • Sending happy thoughts to your lemon tree right now. Gonna check out your Foodie Reads list next.

  • Ohh Wee! I love lemon bars and your Meyer lemon ones look fantstic. I hope your tree is not dead, maybe it’s just cold!