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Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

There’s nothing quite like lemon to brighten the day. Full of tart and sweet, these little squares pack gorgeous flavors with a silky lemon topping that sits on a tender pastry crust woven with more lemon zest.

The clouds and rain have become frequent guests this spring. Lemon squares are a Southern classic and really quite easy to make. They should do the trick to illuminate another cloudy day.

Start with a delicate pastry dough that is buttery and rich, made using the zest of four lemons with no rolling required. Simply press it into a pan and bake.

But the lemon topping is the real star! The deep yellow hue is just a hint of the delightful taste that is hidden inside. The creamy texture is quite luscious on your tongue and wonderfully pleasing to your palate. Fresh eggs are whisked together with sugar, supporting an abundance of lemon flavor and enhanced with both pure vanilla and lemon extracts. Lemon extract accentuates that citrus note and can be found in many specialty food stores or online. Nielsen-Massey make quality extracts and is my preference for extracts and flavorings. In a pinch you can leave it out but it’s really worth keeping in your pantry.

The finished result is a smooth, lemony filling with a thin subtle crunch on the surface.Then give it a final dusting of powdered sugar and you’re ready to bite into this sweet little treat.

Grab a bowl of fresh lemons and bring a little sunshine into your kitchen – lemon squares will brighten even the cloudiest day!

Lemon Squares

Quick note: These bake at 325-degrees, a lower temperature than many recipes.

For the pastry:

1 cup butter – 2 sticks, softened for about 1 hour

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest, about 4 lemons

For the lemon topping:

4 extra-large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest, about 4 lemons

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2-1/2 lemons

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon pure lemon extract*

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour

Powdered sugar for dusting

*Lemon extract can be found in specialty food stores or online.

To make the pastry:

Let the butter soften at room temperature for about 1 hour or until it’s soft enough to easily cut with a pastry knife. Add the flour along with the kosher salt, powdered sugar and the lemon zest.

Using a pastry knife cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in small pieces and blended together. (You can also combine using a hand mixer.)

Turn the flour and butter mixture out into an ungreased 13” x 9” baking pan. Gently press the pastry into the bottom of the pan. Bake the pastry in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes. While the pastry cooks make the lemon topping.

To make the lemon topping:

Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until light, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Add the sugar, whisking to blend. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, plus the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Blend in the flour, whisking until smooth, about 30 seconds.

As soon as the pastry is done, pour the lemon mixture over the top of the hot pastry. Bake at 325-degrees for an additional 40 minutes.

While the lemon squares are still warm dust the top with powdered sugar.

Let them cool completely to set up before cutting. For a cleaner cut, chill before cutting the squares.

Makes about 25 to 30 lemon squares depending on how large you decide to cut them.

Lemon Squares, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 5, 2019
: Makes about 25 to 30 lemon squares.

There’s nothing quite like lemon to brighten the day! Full of tart and sweet, these little squares pack gorgeous flavors with a silky lemon topping that sits on a tender pastry crust woven with more lemon zest!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the pastry:
  • 1 cup butter - 2 sticks, softened for about 1 hour
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, about 4 lemons
  • For the lemon topping:
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, about 4 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2-1/2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract*
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Lemon extract can be found in specialty food stores or online.
Directions
  • Step 1 Quick note – these lemon squares bake at 325-degrees, a lower temperature than many recipes.
  • Step 2 To make the pastry:
  • Step 3 Let the butter soften at room temperature for about 1 hour or until it’s soft enough to easily cut with a pastry knife.
  • Step 4 Add the flour along with the kosher salt, powdered sugar and the lemon zest. Using a pastry knife cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in small pieces and blended together. (You can also combine using a hand mixer.)
  • Step 5 Turn the flour and butter mixture out into an ungreased 13” x 9” baking pan. Gently press the pastry into the bottom of the pan. Bake the pastry in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes. While the pastry cooks make the lemon topping.
  • Step 6 To make the lemon topping:
  • Step 7 Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until light, about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Step 8 Add the sugar, whisking to blend.
  • Step 9 Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, plus the vanilla and lemon extracts. Blend in the flour, whisking until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Step 10 As soon as the pastry is done, pour the lemon mixture over the top of the hot pastry. Bake at 325-degrees for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Step 11 While the lemon squares are still warm dust the top with powdered sugar.
  • Step 12 Let them cool completely to set up before cutting. For a cleaner cut, chill before cutting the squares.


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