Recipes

Recipe: Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust 

Recipe: Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust  thumbnail
Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Introducing Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust… A deliciously sweet, tangy, and savory dessert made with fresh organically grown Meyer lemons, rosemary, and whole wheat shortbread. 


We’re fortunate to be able to grow different varieties of fruit in our garden every month of the year. What about fall and winter? 

Citrus. Lots and lots of citrus. Even though we live in Ag Zone 7b, we grow about a dozen varieties of citrus in containers, so we can bring them under protection when temperatures get too cold. 

One of the most productive and versatile citrus varieties we grow is Meyer lemons.

It's awesome being able to walk out the front door and pick a pile of perfectly ripened, organically grown Meyer lemons.

It’s awesome being able to walk out the front door and pick a pile of perfectly ripened, organically grown Meyer lemons.


Meyer lemon fruit ripens to a deep yellow verging on light orange. By late December, the fruit is so sweet you can nearly eat it like an orange. 

Meyer lemon skin also makes an amazingly flavorful zest.

Use fresh Meyer lemon zest to take the flavor of this recipe up a notch. Not sure how to zest a lemon? Read how.

Use fresh Meyer lemon zest (from our organically grown fruit) to take the flavor of this recipe up a notch. Not sure how to zest a lemon? Read how.

We use Meyer lemons to make countless food and drink recipes during the cold months, including a few go-to desserts. 

Best Meyer lemon dessert recipe

Perhaps our favorite Meyer lemon dessert recipe is Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust. We’ve been perfecting this recipe for a few years and think we’ve now got it nailed. 

A stack of delicious Meyer lemon bars with rosemary brown butter shortbread crust. The symphony of flavors will delight your taste buds.

A stack of delicious Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust. The symphony of flavors will delight your taste buds.

We love this recipe for three reasons:

  1. It’s not too sweet and really shows off the flavor of fresh Meyer lemons.
  2. It brings in the wonderful savory flavor of rosemary (which should be growing in every garden where climate allows).
  3. It’s made with organic whole wheat flour instead of white flour. (Yes, you can use white flour if you’re prefer.)

For the record, our typical post-dinner dessert is usually fresh whole fruit. We don’t encourage people to make a regular habit of eating desserts with extra sugar added, but every now and then it’s good to have a homemade indulgence.

This recipe is relatively healthy and will knock your socks off in the flavor department – especially if you love the flavor of lemons. 

If you love lemons, you'll swoon for these Meyer lemon bars.

If you love lemons, you’ll swoon for these Meyer lemon bars.

Recipe Process Photos

Here are a few process photos to help you get this recipe just right: 

Making rosemary brown butter.

Making rosemary browned butter. “Browned butter” simply means you cook your butter on low heat, stirring regularly, until the butter solids brown. Then you add the rosemary. The butter will temporarily foam. You’ll only cook the rosemary for 15-30 seconds – just long enough to extract the flavor.

Rosemary brown butter straight off the stove and into an ice bath to rapidly cool it. If you want to rapidly cool your hot brown butter to speed your recipe along, use an ice bath (ice in a larger bowl under the smaller bowl of warm brown butter).

Rosemary browned butter straight off the stove and into an ice bath to rapidly cool it. If you want to rapidly cool your hot browned butter to speed your recipe along, use an ice bath (ice in a larger bowl under the smaller bowl of warm browned butter). You’ll want your browned butter to be congealed (not liquid) before adding it to your crust.

Making the crust. The crust will be crumbly when ready, but all ingredients will be thoroughly incorporated. A pastry knife (pictured left) REALLY helps with this type of recipe.

Making the crust. The crust will be crumbly when ready, but all ingredients will be thoroughly incorporated. A pastry knife (pictured left) REALLY helps when making these types of crusts.

Tip: Line your baking dish with parchment paper! This makes the lemon bars much easier to get out. We used an 11

Tip: Line your baking dish with parchment paper with enough extra on the sides so you can lift the whole thing out of the pan when it’s done baking. This makes the lemon bars much easier to get out and cool. We used an 11″ x 8″ x 2″ baking dish. In this picture you can also see how to use your hand to smash the dough flat in the baking dish to create the crust.

Recipe: Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust

Meyer lemon bars with shortbread crust
Print

Meyer lemon bars with rosemary browned butter shortbread crust

Course: Dessert
Keyword: lemon bars, lemon dessert, Meyer lemons
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: Susan von Frank

A delicious lemon bar made with fresh Meyer lemons, lemon zest, rosemary, and whole wheat browned butter crust. Perfect flavor combination of sweet, sour, salty, and savory.

Ingredients

For lemon filling

  • 5 Meyer lemons zest of 2 lemons (1/8 cup) + juice of 5 lemons (1 1/2 cups) 
  • 1 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp tapioca flour or corn starch (to thicken) same quantity regardless of which one you use
  • 6 eggs ducks eggs best, or jumbo chicken eggs

For shortbread crust

Instructions

  1. Start by making the rosemary browned butter. Place butter in small pan on low heat (2-3 on our stove). Your goal is NOT to burn the butter, but to slowly brown the butter fats/solids. Stir every few minutes. Once butter takes on a brown hue, add chopped rosemary, stir for a few seconds, then immediately remove from heat. Leaving the rosemary on the heat for too long will burn out much of the flavor. Cool butter until solid in the fridge or more quickly using the ice bath method pictured in article above.        

  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 8x11x2 baking dish with parchment paper with extra hanging over lips (see photo in article above). 

  3. Zest 2 lemons and juice 5 lemons into mixing bowl. Whisk in all other ingredients (sugar, flour, tapioca, eggs) until smooth consistency. 

  4. Add solid/cooled rosemary browned butter to flour, sugar, and salt in separate mixing bowl. Smash together until all ingredients mixed and there is a crumbly consistency. A pastry knife works best for this. See pictures in above section for desired consistency. Pour crumbly crust mixture on to surface of parchment paper in baking dish and smash down with hands until an even surface is formed. 

  5. Bake the crust FIRST before adding lemon topping. Bake crust for ~30 minutes until crust is getting some golden brown hues. Remove from oven, pour on lemon filling, then return to oven. Turn temperature down to 300F, and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until filling is firm in the center.   

  6. Cool on rack, then refrigerate before serving for best consistency.   

These rosemary Meyer lemon bars are best served cold out of the fridge. What an amazing combination of flavors!

These rosemary Meyer lemon bars are best served cold out of the fridge. What an amazing combination of flavors!

Enjoy! 

KIGI,

More helpful articles for citrus-lovers: 

stay in touch

Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms to see what's in-season out in nature, have fresh seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox and get helpful organic/permaculture gardening & duck keeping tips.