Lemon Squares

Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Blog, Desserts & Treats | 0 comments

Every spring my parent’s lemon tree goes wild and starts producing lemons like you wouldn’t believe.  As a child I loved this tree because my brother, Aya-chan and her little brother and I would pick a bushel of lemons and make refreshing lemonade with WAY too much sugar.

Over the weekend we visited my parents and I asked my dad to help me pick some lemons for us, including the huge funny shaped lemon you see photographed above.  The tree is known to produce some oddly shaped lemons but this one seems “normal” in comparison to some I’ve seen in the past.

While the tree produces great lemons, sometimes I have to ask dad for help picking lemons because the tree is also home to some large spider web-leaf-entagled-nastiness and I am terrified of spiders.  Even my mom, who was my childhood spider-smushing-hero in the house, asks dad to pick lemons.

So I went home with a nice bunch of organic lemons.  I’ll probably use some to make lemonade, but first, I wanted to make lemon squares, or more commonly known as lemon bars.

Big onechan loves to bake lemon bars, but way before she started to bake these, my good friend / ex-college roomie / ex-bridesmaid, Pepe, went through a baking phase where she baked lemon squares, one batch after another, until she perfected this tart and sweet dessert.  I was obligated to try every single batch, and I was happy to do so.  I love lemon squares!  They’re sweet, really tart, sticky, gooey heaven.

Pepe’s Lemon Squares

For crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pam cooking spray

For filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 ½ tablespoons flour

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine ingredients for the crust.  Cut margarine into dry ingredients.  Before I got my KitchenAid mixer, I used a butter knife to cut the margarine, but I cheat now and just use my mixer – it’s faster and requires less manual labor.  When using the mixer, however, try to turn it off before the dough becomes completely mixed together and while it’s still dry and almost crumbly.

Spray Pam on a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and lightly spread crust mix over the bottom of the baking dish.  Don’t press the mixture into the dish.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon.  I used the big lemon from the tree pictured above.  One of my favorite low-tech kitchen gadgets is my juicer.

I found this aluminum juice press in my parents storage left from my grandparent’s kitchen.  It strains the pulp and seeds and you pour the juice out of the side.

 

From one large lemon I was able to get approximately 8 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Combine all of the ingredients for the filling.  The original recipe calls for only 5 tablespoons of lemon juice, but I used all 8 tablespoons.  I love how the extra lemon juice makes the lemon squares extra tart. Mix all ingredients on low-speed for about 2 – 3 minutes.

I should mention that I zested the entire lemon which was over 1 tablespoon, and added it all into the filling mixture.

Pour the filling mix over the crust and bake at 350 degrees F, for 25 minutes.  The filling should be set when you pull it out of the oven.  Because ovens vary, if you find that the filling is still liquid and sloshing around when you pull the baking dish out of the oven, let it bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it so that the top doesn’t burn.

Let the lemon squares cool to room temperature.  Dust the lemon squares with powdered sugar.  I use a strainer to dust the powdered sugar.

Wait until the lemon squares have completely cooled to room temperature, then cut the lemon squares.  I usually cut them into 12 – 15 large squares.

COOKING TIP: When cutting cake, rice krispies, or any kind of chewy/sticky dessert such as lemon squares, run your knife under hot water to let the blade warm up.  After making one slice into the dish, clean the blade under hot water then make the next slice.  This will prevent your dessert from clumping up and you’ll end up with pretty, nice and clean lemon squares.

The perfect afternoon snack or after dinner dessert with a piping hot cup of Earl Grey tea! Oh, and I should probably mention that these are really oooey-gooey. :)

Judy | bebe mama

 

Lemon Squares
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • FOR CRUST:
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pam cooking spray
  • FOR FILLING:
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 ½ tablespoons flour
  • FOR GARNISH:
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine ingredients for the crust.  Cut margarine into dry ingredients. Use a butter knife or if using the mixer, try to turn it off before the dough becomes completely mixed together and while it's still dry and almost crumbly.
  3. Spray Pam on a 9" x 13" baking dish and lightly spread crust mix over the bottom of the baking dish.  Don't press the mixture into the dish.
  4. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.  Let cool.
  5. Squeeze the juice of 1 large lemon. Strain pulp and seeds.
  6. Combine all of the ingredients for the filling. Mix all ingredients on low-speed for about 2 - 3 minutes.
  7. Zest lemon and add it to the filling mixture.
  8. Pour the filling mix over the crust and bake at 350 degrees F, for 25 minutes.  The filling should be set when you pull it out of the oven.
  9. Let the lemon squares cool to room temperature.  Dust the lemon squares with powdered sugar.  I use a strainer to dust the powdered sugar.
  10. Wait until the lemon squares have completely cooled to room temperature, then cut the lemon squares.  I usually cut them into 12 - 15 large squares.
  11. COOKING TIP: When cutting cake, rice krispies, or any kind of chewy/sticky dessert such as lemon squares, run your knife under hot water to let the blade warm up.  After making one slice into the dish, clean the blade under hot water then make the next slice.  This will prevent your dessert from clumping up and you'll end up with pretty, nice and clean lemon squares.

Please Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: