Say see ya later to the warm cozy spices of winter, and hello to the zingy vibrant flavor of Spring and Summer.
Sooo we have all seen the lemon square/bar boxes sitting on the shelf in the baking isle no? Yes, yes we have. The next time you feel the urge to make these delicious treats, I urge you to give the scratch method a try. First of all it’s easy! Secondly, fresh! (I bet if you read the ingredient label on the boxed versions “fresh lemon juice” would not be found…). Thirdly, takes no time at all. If I can convince one person to put the box down, I would be a happy girl.
A good lemon square in my book is one where the lemon is the star and the shortcrust cookie layer is the strong supporting actor. The cookie cannot be too buttery or too soft or too anything; it has to be subtle making it the perfect lemon delivery device. I want the lemon to be zesty and very bright so that your palate feels like it’s just been lemon slapped, while the cookie is there to soothe the delicious sting. Have I created a visual or what! Without further adieu, here’s the recipe I modified to fit my taste. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook, but modified to be more zingy!
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, from about 2 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered Sugar for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the middle. You'll use a 9 inch square pan, but you can leave it ungreased.
For the crust: In a food processor, pulse together all of the ingredients except the butter to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like course meal. Pour the dough into your pan and press it onto the bottom. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is just barely golden brown.
In the meantime, make the filling: Whisk together all of the ingredients for the filling until combined. Be sure there are no lumps of flour left in the mixture.
When the crust has been partly baked, remove it from the oven and pour the filling into the still-warm crust. Return to the oven until the filling is set, about 15 minutes and cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold - approx 4 hours (if you can wait that long....).
To serve, cut the squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.