Crazy for Crust

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars {Shortbread Crust}

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Round pie is so overrated sometimes. Sometimes you just need a pie bar…something that’s no hassle to cut, share, and get out of the house before you shove it all in your face.

Kind of like these Lemon Meringue Pie Bars. I turned lemon meringue pie into pie bars. Then I shoved meringue in my face, the end.

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars with a shortbread crust, lemon filling, and piled high with marshmallow meringue!

If you’ve ever read my love story about Mel, you’ll know that we didn’t date very long before we got engaged. We fell pretty hard for each other fast and we didn’t want to be apart – ever.

Who’d have thought that 14 years later I’d be writing about our love story on a blog full of desserts that he never tries? Now that’s love.


Shortly after we got engaged Mel had to go on a business trip to London and Belgium for 2 weeks. I was crushed. Devastated! Two whole weeks without my guy. What was I going to do????

I don’t remember what I did. I probably ate lots of ice cream and watched…I’m not sure. Reality TV didn’t exist back then. (Whaaaa???)

I gave him one request: bring me back cookies and chocolate from London. And boy, did he. He filled his entire suitcase with chocolate bars and Walker’s Shortbread. It was a Dorothy-gained-5-pounds suitcase.

Now that? Is love.

Also love? This:

Marshmallow Meringue

That’s marshmallow meringue. It’s my favorite kind of meringue. Actually, to be truthful, its the only kind I’ll make. That other stuff you whip and bake is so…eggy, I just can’t deal. Marshmallow meringue? We’re BFFs. And when you top lemon meringue pie bars with marshmallow meringue, that’s a good day.

An even better day? When the crust is made of Walker’s Shortbread Cookies. Luckily, you don’t have to go to Europe for them. They sell them at your regular grocery store!

Walkers Shortbread Cookies

*instant drool*

I’ve been eating Walker’s Shortbread all of my life, it seems. They’re my favorite shortbread cookie, hands down. I have no idea where I first tasted it but you never forget that first bite. Buttery, crunchy yet soft, the cookies are so good you can’t just eat one.

One package = one serving. Or no? My bad.

Walker’s Shortbread has been around for over 200 years and it’s still a family owned company. Their shortbread is made using only the finest butter from free-grazing, small herd cows and their shortbread, cookies and oatcakes contain no artificial flavorings, colorings or additives, and are certified Kosher OUD. They even make a gluten-free shortbread!

In short, their shortbread is just that…shortbread. The perfect cookie.

And a perfect shortbread cookie made into a crust? Even more perfect.

Topped with marshmallow meringue? You get this:

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars


Okay, so let’s breakdown the recipe.

Obviously, the crust is made of Walker’s Shortbread Cookies. The thing I love about shortbread cookie crusts is that you don’t need to use as much melted butter to get the crumbs to adhere to each other as you do with a normal cookie. The cookie itself has a high butter content, making it almost crust-ready just when it’s crumbled.

Depending on the size of the box of shortbread you use, you’ll want about 1 1/2 boxes of cookies. (My boxes were 5.3 ounces each.) You mix that with just a few tablespoons of melted butter, press it into the bottom of a 9″ square pan that’s been lined with foil, and you bake it for 14 minutes.

You can’t skip the foil folks, sorry. Unless you want to eat the bars from the pan with a fork, you need to be able to remove them easily. Line the pan with a nice long piece of foil so you can easily remove the entire slab from the pan later on.

Then you can nice, clean cut bars. Like this:

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars with a shortbread crust, lemon filling, and piled high with marshmallow meringue!

On top of the wonderful shortbread crust goes a lemon bar mixture. I debated spreading lemon curd on top but I did that last week and I also wanted a more firm bar that would work for a pot luck. I decided to adapt my lemon bar recipe to turn it into these bars.

That was a good choice.

You bake the bars, then you need to let them cool completely. Do not even try to remove them from the pan or remove the foil until they’re cooled and chilled. I chilled mine overnight just because of timing, but a few hours would work just fine.

Then you make your meringue, and the angels sing.

Don’t be scared of the meringue!! It’s really easy. I’ve laid out all the steps for you in the directions. Here are a few key points:

  • Whisk your egg whites and the sugar in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don’t stop whisking – you don’t want scrambled sugary eggs.
  • Let the mixture cook while you whisk until it’s about 140°F. It takes a few minutes. I tested my temperature with my candy thermometer.
  • Immediately add it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment for several minutes until it stands up on it’s own – like in the whisk photo above.

That’s it! Then you frost your bars and either broil or toast with a blow torch. I recommend the blow torch, it’s more fun.

Then you cut them and eat them. The marshmallow meringue is so much better than normal meringue. It’s sweet and delish and it pairs so well with the tart lemon and buttery crust.

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars

It’s a match maid in heaven. Kind of like Mel and I. 🙂

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Servings: 9 -12 bars

Lemon Meringue Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust

Cook Time:
25 mins
These lemon meringue pie bars are totally portable, unlike regular lemon meringue pie. A shortbread crust is topped with a lemon bar mixture and then the whole pan is frosted with a marshmallow meringue topping!


For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 boxes — about 5.3 ounces each Walkers Shortbread Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 1/4 cups cookie crumbs)
  • 3 tablespoons butter — melted

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs

For the Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. (The foil is necessary for these bars! You can use parchment if you prefer.)
  2. Make the crust by stirring together the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of your pan. Bake for 14 minutes.
  3. While the crust is baking, make the filling. Whisk sugar, salt, lemon juice, and zest in a medium bowl. Whisk in eggs. Once crust is done, whisk the mixture again, then carefully pour it evenly over the crust. Bake an additional 20 minutes or so, until the edges start to brown and the top looks solid.
  4. Cool completely on the counter, then cover and chill until cold. It will be chilled in about 2-3 hours, but you can make the bars up to 2 days ahead and store them in the refrigerator.
  5. When ready to serve (or within a few hours of serving),  make the meringue. Remove the lemon pie bars from the refrigerator while you make the meringue.
  6. Fill a saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Find a bowl that will fit on top of the pan without touching the water. (I like to use a glass bowl over a 2 Qt. saucepan.)
  7. Whisk the egg whites and the sugar in the bowl. Place it on top of the pan that’s over the boiling water (over medium-high heat). Whisk constantly for about 5-7 minutes, until the mixture reaches about 140°F. You can use a candy thermometer if you have one, or even a (clean) meat thermometer to measure the temperature.
  8. Immediately transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at high speed for until stiff peaks form, about five minutes depending on your mixer. Your meringue is now ready! (You can also use a hand mixer but it will take a lot longer.)
  9. Use the foil to remove the lemon bars from the pan. Remove foil and place on a cookie sheet or serving plate (depending on how you’re toasting the meringue.) Frost the top with meringue. Really heap it on there!
  10. Use a kitchen blowtorch to lightly brown the tops of the meringue. Or, you can place the pie under the broiler for just minute or two - do NOT walk away from the stove!
  11. Slice and serve within a few hours.

Click here to see the complete list of Lemon Recipes!

Pumpkin Meringue Pie

Frozen Pumpkin Meringue Pie (4 of 8)

Easy Lemon Tarts

Easy Lemon Tarts (6 of 9)w

Mini Lemon Chess Pies

Mini Lemon Chess Pies (4 of 9)w

Pear Pie Crumble Bars

Pear Pie Crumble Bars (6 of 9)w

This post was sponsored by Walker’s Shortbread. All opinions are 100% my own. Because who doesn’t love Walker’s Shortbread??!!

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  1. Okay, if my husband had ever brought me a suitcase full of chocolate and cookies, I’d, well, marry him. But I’d also give him extra kisses every day. Because that’s just completely awesome.
    As is this meringue! Good lord. It’s perfect. And pie bars are just the best, especially lemon ones.

  2. Dorothy, I love that Mel brought you back treats during his travels. My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over a year and he has to travel to New Jersey frequently. I feel devastated when he leaves, but always make him a welcome home meal at the end of the week. I’m with you on pie bars, girl! These look amazing! Walker’s shortbread is by far the yummiest I have ever had. 🙂

  3. You never cease to amaze me with just how many DIFFERENT ways you can work lemon into a recipe! Or pie! Always amazing 🙂

    These look soooo good. I love the meringue. Mmm, give me that beater to lick!

  4. Looks really good.. Lemon layer and meringue.. Yummy!

  5. Aww Mel sounds like the sweetest! And what did we do before reality TV?!?!!? Dawson’s Creek or something….
    LOVE lemon, love these bars, love these photos. That’s a lot of love for so early in the morning! 

  6. I agree, pie bars are the best! This looks wonderful, Dorothy! I love the shortbread crust. And that meringue is just calling my name! Pinned!

  7. I need to take a trip to Europe just to try this shortbread!! It sounds so buttery and amazing! And if my husband ever brought home a suitcase full of snacks and treats for me, well, I’d marry him all over again!

  8. I love making pie bars — I just feel like they’re easier, and they’re more portable having a hand-held dessert.  These look out of this world delicious, and marshmallow meringue sounds lovely! 🙂

  9. Do you think this recipe would work if you substituted lime? I’m looking for a recipe for my fiances St. Patty’s Day potluck at work next week, and this looks fun!

  10. Um, I totally agree. I would take a pie bar over a traditional pie any day. I *tried* to make pumpkin pie bars instead of a traditional pie for Thanksgiving last year. Except, I was super busy prepping other food, so I printed out a recipe for the bars and told my husband to put them together. Well, we skipped a step, and let’s just say they didn’t turn out all that great. Maybe I’ll print him THIS recipe and tell him he needs to redeem himself. I love lemon way more than pumpkin, anyway 🙂

  11. I agree! Round is overrated! I love a good bar dessert!

  12. I love lemon meringue pie, and I think a bar with a shortbread crust may sound even better.  This looks absolutely delicious!  I’ve never tried marshmallow meringue though so I’ll have to give that a try!

  13. Dorothy these are so awesome! I know how much you love lemon! Have you tried the Lemon Shortbread Bars from Walkers? They are insane!

  14. You are my new bff, okay?! I adore lemon meringue. Especially when the meringue is marshmallow meringue. I’d totally eat a square of this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  15. Mel is the sweetest!! Love that he brought you all those treats back especially the Walker’s Shortbread! Those are my favorite too along with lemon desserts! These pie bars look gorgeous! Love that fluffy meringue!

  16. I love love LOVE lemon meringue pie! These look so good!

  17. Yum!!! The toasted meringue on these bars is so over the top delicious!

  18. Lemon Meringue is a fave of mine. Your bars look incredible, as always!! 🙂

  19. If my husband came back with a suitcase full of chocolates from Europe I would totally marry him again!! 🙂  These bars look delish and I too think the round is overrated!!  Also I love that fork with the your pie on it, never seen that before.  

  20. Mmmmm drooling… you’ll be dreaming of these bars still in 14 years just like that hubs!

  21. you really are the queen of all things pie related! and lemon, oh how I love lemon

  22. You deserve a sweetheart like Mel! I’ll have to try that brand of shortbread – my dad’s nickname for me when I was little was “my little scotch cookie”.  Those pie bars look awesome!  Bring on Pi day!

  23. I absolutely love Walkers! My husband works for them and get samples often and they are delicious. I’ve never though of using them as a crust, but next time I will! I love this recipe, thanks for sharing.

  24. Gorgeous! I have been craving lemony desserts for the last couple of weeks. I’m going to have to start making some to quench my craving!

  25. Every time Paul travels overseas, I always make him bring me back chocolate. Because U.S. chocolate pales in comparison. “Round pie is so overrated.” Bwah! I do not discriminate about my pie. Round or square. Ever. Bring on the lemon!

  26. I am laughing over here because I was testing lemon meringue pie bars today and they COMPLETELY failed!!!! And as I sit down to work tonight I see your gorgeous bars!  LOVEEE. Pinned! 

  27. It’s not even 6AM and I am drooling over these! I love lemon meringue but a pie is too much. Shortbread is also one of my favorites! Pinned for Easter 🙂 

  28. Love the shortbread crust! These pie bars need to get added to our Easter menu!

  29. This dessert sounds right up my alley! So delicious and what a sweet story about your husband bringing you a suitcase full of chocolate and shortbread!

  30. I totally agree with you…marshmallow meringue is totally better than the other plain one!!!  What a fun story about the suitcase full of cookies and candy…so sweet!!

  31. WOWZER! These look ahhhMazing! I love that lovely cookie crust with the lemon!

  32. Man that is so sweet! What more proof do you need; that suitcase is love for sure. Ok these bars – what the what?? Lemon meringue pie in a BAR? Mind.blown. Would you mind bringing me a suitcase full of these? 🙂 Pinned!

  33. Awww it was the same for me and my hubby – we weren’t even dating a year before he proposed 🙂 These lemon meringue pie bars look so yummy!

  34. Ahh! What a cute story! These look yummy too!

  35. Okay, so if I NEEDED to make these, like, now, and I happened to have a bottle of key lime juice in my fridge from making your AMAZING key lime cheesecake and key lime curd, could I possibly get away with skipping the zest and still having an amazing tasting product?  Because let’s be real, I don’t feel like going to the grocery store just to pick up a puny little key lime to zest, mostly because of the whole “needing to make these now” thing.

  36. I have been wanting to make pie bars forever and these lemon ones look like a good place to start! 

  37. You seriously knocked this one out of the ballpark.  For real?  Shortbread crust?  I am all the way sold!

  38. I love that you guys got engaged so quick! So did Cory and I. <3 Also those Walkers shortbread cookies are the BOMB! I can't believe you made a crust out of them! Oh wait, I can lol! You really are the queen of desserts, yum! 

  39. aww, what a sweet love story. Any man who is lucky enough to get with me someday (wink) will have to know that chocolate and cookies are the way to my heart. And a little lemon never hurt either! Which reminds me of a funny story: today at work there was a going away party for someone and there was only a fruit and veggie tray. To which I told my friend/coworker- if there is only veggies and no sweets at my going away party I will think that no one I worked with ever liked me. HA! Ok, I’m rambling, but I am pinning this recipe for sure. Looks like a great dessert for Easter!

  40. I made the lime version, and they turned out great! My fiance won best dish at his work potluck! I had never made meringue before, and I think now I’m obsessed. Thank you for the great recipe!

  41. I just made these and they are unbelievably heavenly! Lemon bars are one of my favorite treats and I have a great recipe that always gets compliments. However, the marshmallow meringue really takes lemon bars up a notch – from good to fantastic. And you are right, marshmallow meringue is so much better than regular – I will never make regular again.

    I used the bowl of my kitchenaid mixer as the top of the “double boiler” and then just moved it right over to the stand, attached the whisk, and whipped away. Easy! The process seems intimidating but it was actually very simple. Don’t be afraid to try it, friends. 

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this!! I know, marshmallow meringue is just SO good, so much better than the other. And great tip about the bowl. Totally doing that next time!

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