On my recent trip to CA, land of perpetual citrus, I brought back a suitcase full of  organic lemons. I picked them the day I left  from a family member’s tree.  Lemons are a staple in the Art On The Menu pantry. Eating local aside, there are a few small concessions I have to make. One of them is lemons year round.

I call 10 pounds of fresh organic lemons Christmas in September. It was one citrus-y treat after another: lemon tartlets; lemon curd; fresh squeezed lemon juice in my freezer for future baking; preserved lemon slices; on and on! And oh- the art inspiration!

Rather than make my lemon bars as bars, I made them as tartlets. The pastry, which I normally press in, rolled out beautifully. I cut out 2″ rounds with my fluted cutter, blind baked, filled, garnished with some of the preserved lemon slices and ta da!.

The beauty of this method for lemon bars is it uses 2/3 less filling. This leaves more lemon juice for my endless lemon recipes! Of course you can eat twice as many because they are only 1 1/2 bites! And these tartlets inspired my cardboard lemon tartlet. The real one definitely tastes better!