Lemon bars are one of my favorite treats with wine. The essence of the citrus complements many wines and is the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and acidity. I was so fired up to make some lemon bars from the Meyer lemons that gracious friends have been gifting me this season. Their aroma is captivating!
While searching for the right recipe, a dear friend from my college days at UC DAVIS came to visit with a bag full of lemons from her tree in the Napa Valley.
A great visit with an old friend can leave you completely inspired. We shared down-to-earth ideas about food, travel, and gardening over a few glasses of wine. I accumulated lists of books to read, cookbooks to taste, biodynamic cosmetic companies to find online, and dates for family travel. She is not only a viticulturist, but a master gardener, so I even had a list of things to do to revive my culinary garden from her white fly diagnosis. As I’m writing this, I’m still giggling from a few things we recollected from college.
Of course she had the best lemon bar recipe in hand. This recipe uses the whole lemon. My kind of recipe! I love to use crushed fruit and get the flavor from the skins-just as I do with my winemaking protocols. I love the richness and texture edible skins contribute.

Crushed Lemon Bars-adapted from David Lebovitz’s

1 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
8 T melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon Topper
  • 2 small organic Meyer lemons
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 t corn starch
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 T melted butter
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  2. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 8 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla, until smooth.
  4. Smear the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands and a small spatula to get it as even as possible.
  5. Bake the crust for 25 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.
  6. Cut the lemons in half and remove the seeds.
  7. Put the lemon in a food processor (or mash with a muddler or back of wooden spoon) then mix with the sugar and lemon juice. In the food processor or blender, add the eggs, corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons melted butter, and blend until mixed well. I like to have the consistency as chunky as possible, but we agreed that they are more kid friendly when mostly smooth.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce temperature to 300. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust (this is key to make sure the topping adheres to the crust) and bake for 25 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. When cool, carefully lift out the bars using the foil. Cut the bars into small squares or triangles. Sprinkle sifted powdered sugar over the top just before serving. Yum!
Enjoy with a glass of Rose and soak up some of the brightest moments of the winter season-always spent best with great friends. Thanks for the inspiration and the lemons Kendall!
Winemaker's Table

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