Lemon Squares – Recipe

Lemon Squares

This is not my original recipe by any means, just a little adaptation… Was real fun to make it with my 9 years old daughter, and was a huge success ‘cause everyone liked it.

This version will make you 32 small pieces that are easy to handle and disappear  fast… I used two 8”x8” single use baking pans from the supermarket, easy to handle (and if relevant to you,  you do one while your kid do the other…). Cut all quantities  by half if you want to do only one pan. You might need to make another one right after, since it is going to be gone real fast.

It is easy to do, doesn’t take too long. Done in two phases, first prepare and cook the crust, then prepare the filling and cook all together.  I explain in details, so don’t get intimidated by the relatively long text…

List of all Ingredients needed in total (rounded up quantities, e.g. for checking what you have at home and for your trip to the supermarket, don’t use these exact quantities for the cooking…)

  1. Non-stick cooking spray
  2. Parchment paper
  3. 8”x8x 1 5/8” high (that’s the off the shelf ones I found,  anything similar will do…) aluminum single use baking trays – 2  (they usually come in packaged of 3, oh well)
  4. Confectioners’ sugar  - ¾ cup
  5. All-purpose flour – 2 cups
  6. Cornstarch – ½ cup
  7. Granulated sugar – 1.5 cup
  8. 6 Eggs
  9. Butter  - 1 ½ stick
  10. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  11. Lemons  - About 8-10 (get a few more…) to make 1 cup lemon juice.
  12. salt

 

 

CRUST ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1.5 stick) cold unsalted butter

 

Lemon Filling ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice

 

Directions

Prep the Pans:

  1. Coat the two 8”x8” baking pans with the cooking spray, so the parchment paper will stick to them when preparing, and release easy after backing.
  2. Cut the parchment paper to four 8” wide and about 14” long rectangles.
  3. Line the pans with two crisscrossed rectangles each, leaving overhangs on all sides. This will make it easy to pull it all out when done. The paper should stick to the cooking spray and stay there.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack mid-height.  Squeeze lemons to get  1 cup of lemon juice (note – that’s what you get when you squeeze lemon J ).

 

Make the crust:

  1. Put In a food processor with the sharp blade, and pulse a few times to mix:
    • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
    • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
  2. Cut to a few pieces and add  ¾ cup (1 ½  stick) cold unsalted butter.
  3. Pulse for 20-30 seconds (don’t take my word for this) until mixture turns into coarse crumbs.  If you over do it or the butter gets too warm, it will  mash together, it’s fine too, just stop there…
  4. Divide to two and press each half into each cooking pan’s bottom (over the paper that’s already there) going up the sides about ½” to ¾” inch. Try to make it evenly spread over the pan
  5. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
  6. Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  7. Take pans out of the oven, let it cool until filling is done, don’t take it out of the pan.

 

While it is cooling down, reduce oven heat to 325 degrees, and:

 

Make the filling:

  1. Beat the 6 eggs with an electric mixer until it builds some volume and thickens. It should become foamy.  You can also do it in the food processor after cleaning it well from the crust, works too but takes a little longer.  
  2. Beat in:

·         6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

·         ¾ teaspoon baking powder

·         ½ teaspoon salt

·         1 ½  cup granulated sugar

·         1 cup fresh lemon juice

  1. Pour over warm crust.

 

 

Bake in 325 degrees until set, about 25 minutes. The top should be slightly brown, the inside will stay wet, that’s the way it should be…

Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least  1 hour.

 

Take out from the fridge, use the paper overhang to lift it out from the pan.

 

Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top, and then cut crisscross to 4 sections of 2” in both directions, to create 16 2”x2” squares. I like the outside crust, but if you want it to look better cut the crust around before you divide it to make a nicer presentation…

 

Oh, and I suggest cleaning the knife between cuts with a damp paper towel, to create clean nice cuts..

 

Lift pieces using a wide knife,  and place on a serving plate. Enjoy.

 

L.