Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lemon Squares

For some unknown reason I have a great deal of trouble getting these done right. But despite that fact they are simple enough to make. I've forgotten the eggs, and I've forgotten the lemon juice or the lemon zest. But when I get them right they are a big hit.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, diced
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tsp lemon zest


1 scant cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons unbleached flour


Icing sugar (I think Americans say confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar)

Preheat to 350 degrees.

Grease with butter a 8 x 8 inch pan. I use a loose-bottom pan, which makes it much easier to get the final product out of the pan for cutting. If you don't have a loose-bottom pan I would recommend putting parchment paper in the pan with the sides sticking up on two ends. That way you can just lift the whole thing out of the pan. I do this with brownies. But there again, if you don't have parchment paper you can't do that.

CRUST: In a food processor mix the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the butter, cut into small pieces and pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Pour this cornmeal-like mixture into the pan and press into the bottom of the pan. Don't press too hard. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

While the crust is baking, mix up the filling

FILLING: In a bowl beat the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Fold in the flour using a whisk. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To serve: Cut into squares or triangles and dust with icing sugar. I like to use a large pizza cutter to cut the cookies.

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