Shaker Meyer Lemon Pie Bars
Makes 12 bars.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. "Be sure to slice the lemons as thin as you can and let them macerate in sugar for at least 3 hours (the longer, the better)," write Cheryl Day and Griffith Day, the authors of "Back in the Day Bakery Made With Love." The result is a tart, lemony filling similar in texture to marmalade." Substitute regular lemons if Meyer lemons are not in season (though they are right now).
• 2 large Meyer lemons, scrubbed (see Note)
• 2 c. granulated sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
• 1/2 c. granulated sugar
• 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
• 2 c. flour
• Powdered sugar, for garnish, optional
To prepare lemons for filling: Slice stem ends off lemons. Using a mandoline, slice lemons paper-thin and place them in a nonreactive bowl (glass or stainless steel; do not use aluminum). Pick out and discard seeds. Add granulated sugar to lemons and, using your hands, toss together to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. The skin of the lemons will soften and the sugar will completely dissolve. If you see any seeds floating on top, discard them.
To prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting the ends of the parchment paper hang over the two opposite sides of the pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt until well blended. Add flour, in thirds, and stir until just incorporated. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Prick crust all over with a fork. Bake until crust is golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool while you prepare filling (leave oven on).
To prepare filling: In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and salt. Add to lemon mixture and stir to combine. Pour lemon filling over prebaked crust. Bake until golden and the center no longer jiggles, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate before cutting and serving (and garnish with powdered sugar, shaken through a fine-mesh strainer, optional). Bars can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.