Meyer Lemon Bars with Pistachio Ginger Crust

Meyer lemon season is coming to an end soon, so let’s take advantage and squeeze out every bit of fragrant lemony-ness we can.  Pistachios and ginger pair extremely well with lemon, and are the prominent flavors in the buttery crust of these bars.  The filling uses both the juice and zest to get the most Meyer lemon flavor.  A simple glaze of confectioners’ sugar and more Meyer lemon juice tops it all off, along with a dusting of chopped pistachios to give it a salty crunchy balance.  And don’t worry.  We’ve got gluten free and whole wheat variations covered.  So go ahead, raise a glass (or lemon bar) to another citrus season.

These bars utilize both the stainless steel mixing bowl and the plastic whipping bowl.  It also relies on the nut grater for the pistachio meal.  It is possible to purchase pistachio meal online if you don’t have that attachment.  Almond meal is more widely available, and could be substituted for the pistachio meal as well.

Make sure to grate nuts on a low speed and use the cover, otherwise nut meal will fling everywhere.

 

People often ask if the stainless steel bowl can be used for things like cookie dough or bars.  The answer is, yes!  The key is room temperature butter, the scraper and high speed.

About 30 seconds into mixing, turn off the machine and use the scraper to remove the butter from the roller.

 

I prefer to line pans with aluminum foil when making bars.  That way, I can easily lift out the bars and cut them into sections instead of trying to cut them in the pan.  Like cookie dough, I found that the crust in these bars was better when I chilled it for 30 minutes before baking.

Just use your hands to evenly pat the crust into the pan.  Chill, then bake till golden brown.

 

Let the crust cool for 10-15 minutes, and then pour the filling over the top.  You will want to bake the filling until it is beginning to brown on the top and the middle is set.  Otherwise you will end up with runny bars.

Bake for the full amount of time for a set filling throughout. If you like a couple gooey bars in the middle, bake for the least amount of time. (Still need to not jiggle)

 

Briefly let these cool and then place in the fridge to thoroughly chill before adding the glaze.  I also find that cold lemon bars are much easier to neatly cut than room temperature ones.

Add the pistachios before the glaze sets to help them adhere to the bars.

 

If you don’t have access to Meyer lemons, just substitute regular lemons.  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.  Happy baking!

 

Meyer Lemon Bars with Pistachio Ginger Crust

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 65 minutes

Inactive Time: 3-4 hours

 

Crust: 

240 g. (2 cups) all-purpose flour

75 g. (3/4 cup) pistachio meal*

1 g. (1/4 tsp.) kosher salt

12 g. (2 Tbsp.) finely chopped crystalized/candied ginger

85 g. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) sugar

230 g. (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

Filling:

6 large eggs, room temperature

pinch salt

513 g. (2 1/4 cups) sugar

136 g. (1/2 cup) fresh Meyer lemon juice

zest of 1 medium Meyer lemon

60 g. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

4 g. (1 tsp.) baking powder

Glaze:

115 g. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar

51 g. (3 Tbsp.) fresh Meyer lemon juice

Topping: 

30 g. (3 Tbsp.) chopped pistachios

 

Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil.

Dump all the crust ingredients into the stainless steel bowl with the roller/scraper.  Mix on medium low speed (2 o’clock) for about 1 minute, occasionally pulling the roller towards the middle to help incorporate ingredients.  Scrape down the roller and then mix on medium speed (3 o’clock) until thoroughly combined.

Pat crust into prepared pan and then place in freezer to chill for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350º F.

Once chilled, bake crust for 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Do not turn oven off.

While crust cools, set up the Ankarsrum base with the plastic whipping bowl and the balloon whisks.  Add all the filling ingredients and begin on lowest speed then increase to medium (3 o’clock).  Mix for 1 minute.

Pour filling over crust and then return to oven and bake an additional 30-35 minutes, until top is beginning to brown and center is set.

Let cool slightly and then refrigerate until completely cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients.  Pour over cooled bars and tilt the pan back and forth to evenly coat the bars with the glaze.  Sprinkle chopped pistachios on the top.  Let glaze set before cutting into bars.

 

Yield: 20 bars

*For pistachio meal, set up the Ankarsrum base with the nut grater attachment.  Use about 81 g. shelled unsalted pistachios for 75 g. pistachio meal.  (Some meal and bits of nut get left behind in the attachment.)

 

Gluten Free Version:

This gluten free version relies on coarsely ground oat flour, which is made by placing rolled oats (not quick cook) into a blender and blending until a coarse flour is obtained.  The result is a bar that tastes like a cross between a lemon bar and an oatmeal bar.

-For crust: replace all-purpose flour with 248 g. (2 cups) coarsely ground oat flour.  Make sure to use oats that specifically say gluten-free.

-For filling: replace all-purpose flour with 62 g. (1/2 cup) coarsely ground oat flour.  If a more traditional lemon bar flavor/texture is desired, use 34 g. (1/4 cup) cornstarch instead of oat flour.

-Follow instructions above.

Whole Wheat Version:

When swapping natural sugars for regular, think about the final flavor.  I like coconut sugar in the crust because it works well with the stronger flavors of whole wheat, pistachios and ginger.  But for the more delicate flavored filling, I went with sucanat with honey.

-For crust: Replace all-purpose flour with 226 g. (2 cups) whole wheat flour.  If milling at home, use a hard white wheat, spelt or even soft wheat.

If desired, replace sugar with 52 g. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) coconut sugar or 64 g. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) sucanat with honey (aka honey granules, honey crystals.)

-For filling: Replace all-purpose flour with 56 g. (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour.

If desired, replace sugar with 387 g. (2 1/4 cups) sucanat with honey.

-For glaze: If desired, place 172 g. sucanat with honey into blender.  Blender on high speed for about 30 seconds to make powdered sugar.

Follow instructions above.

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.