These Shortcut Lemon Meringue Pie Bars taste just like your favorite fresh lemon meringue pie but in a chewy and gooey BAR! The shortcut is such a time-saver during the busy holidays, too.
So I have a confession to make: I’ve never been invited to a holiday cookie swap party before. I know! It’s basically blasphemy! Wouldn’t I be the greatest addition to a cookie swap party? Or is everyone jealous of my baking prowess that they’ve blacklisted me from enjoying their cookies and treats, thinking I’ll judge them or criticize?
But here’s the thing: I am so not a food critic! Oftentimes, when people find out what I do for a living, they’ll ask if I critique restaurants or bakeries, or other people’s recipes. Not in the least! I think I have a pretty decent palate – probably above average – but it is in no way refined or qualified to make assessments of actual chef-made recipes. I mean, I still eat snack cakes and potato chips – no, not the artisanal kind at a fancy market; more like the kind you find in a vending machine.
Plus, I am the self-proclaimed queen of semi-homemade cooking (besides Sandra Lee, of course!). I love using prepared boxed mixes to create unique, one-of-a-kind and EASY recipes that are delicious, show-stopping and crowd-pleasing without all the fuss. It’s one of the reasons why I have been partnering with Krusteaz for several years now! Their products are always consistently simple yet divine and scrumptious on their own or doctored up, like in this recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie Bars.
For this, I used my favorite Krusteaz Meyer Lemon Bar Mix as the base for these epic pie mash-up bars. You simply bake the lemon bars according to the package directions, and just a few minutes before they’re ready to come out of the oven, you’ll make a homemade meringue topping. Meringue is basically whipped egg whites with cream of tartar to make them fluffy, airy and magical. Spread the meringue over the still-hot lemon bars and return to the oven to bake until the meringue is lightly toasted on top – YUM.
The hardest and most complicated part of this recipe is waiting for them to chill and set in the fridge. To abate my impatience, I like to make these before bed so in the morning I’m greeted with a perfect square of gooey Meyer lemon bar with a fluffy, toasted meringue topping. Delicious!
Cut them into miniature cubes for a fun twist on a holiday cookie swap – and prepare to wow the other guests!
Shortcut Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
- One box Krusteaz Meyer Lemon Bar Mix
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- Zest of one lemon
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream or tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 square pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease foil with cooking spray; set aside.
- Whisk water, eggs, and Meyer Lemon Filling Mix until blended. Add in the lemon zest and mix well. Set aside.
- Stir melted butter into crust mix until crumbly dough forms. Press the dough firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 12-14 minutes.
- Pour the lemon filling evenly over the crust and return to the oven to bake 20-22 minutes.
- While lemon bars bake, make your meringue. In a clean bowl, whip egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla on HIGH speed until stiff peaks form, slowly adding in the sugar a little at a time. Meringue should be stiff and glossy. Spread over the still-hot lemon bars evenly, making small swoops and swirls with the meringue.
- Return the bars to the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes longer, watching the meringue carefully to prevent it from browning or burning too quickly. Meringue should be lightly toasted on top. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours to firm and set before cutting into squares.
These are seriously so fantastic – light and gooey with a zesty burst of fresh lemon flavor and a fluffy, sweetened meringue topping. Everyone will go nuts for these!
Have a super sweet day!
Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Krusteaz. All opinions are 100% my own, and I was compensated for this post. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep my blog alive!