My grandma always claimed she wasn’t much of a sweet tooth. Or, at least, not compared to my grandpa and me.
It’s true, she probably wasn’t in comparison (it would have been hard to beat) – but that’s not to say she didn’t have sweet cravings of her own.
When my grandpa and I would buy maple frosting-covered pecan rolls, she’d have a blueberry streusel muffin. When I’d have chocolate syrup on my vanilla ice cream, she’d have one scoop of black raspberry. And when I’d have cheesecake, she’d have lemon meringue pie.
I think she likes that the addition of lemon makes it not-too-sweet (she’s also a fan of key lime pie) but it’s still a serious dessert. So in honour of her birthday, I made shortbread-based cookie bars, topped with lemon curd and piles of fluffy meringue. They’re pretty good, sweet tooth or not.
Lemon Meringue Bars
YOU’RE GONNA NEED: a 9×13 inch baking tray
For the crust:
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
For the topping:
1 cup lemon curd
3 cold egg whites
6 tbsp sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flour to form a sticky dough. Spread the dough into a 9×13 inch baking tray, making sure to spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and set. Allow to cool.
3. Spread the lemon curd on top of the shortbread base, making sure to cover evenly.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, beating at a high speed until thickened. The meringue is ready when you can pull the beater away and the peaks stand upright.
5. Dollop the meringue onto the lemon curd, then spread evenly. Turn the oven up to 400F (200C) and bake the bars for 10-12 minutes or until the meringue is slightly golden*. Once cooled, cut into bars and serve.
Using this method, the meringue will get crunchy on top. For a more authentic lemon meringue, use a kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue.