Lemon squares are a delicious citrus dessert, a mix of sweet and sour flavors that help to wake the senses. Before you start make sure you have a clean large surface area for baking. You’ll want to keep the surface floured (as well as your hands) because the recipe tends to be sticky. Be sure to use a well floured surface (and hands) when forming your dough disk. You’ll want to use room temperature eggs for the filling.
Makes 12 bars
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into (about 1/2 inch pieces. Extra butter for greasing)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional for extra flavor)
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons double cream
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
*For an interesting topping:
- Scraps from crust
- About 1/4 cup flour
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
To make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease your baking dish (an 8 inch square glass baking dish is preferable).
- In a food processor or blender combine flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon (optional). Pulse briefly until blended. Add the butter and pulse until moist crumbles are made. Be sure it is moist, there should be no dryness. Press the dough into the bottom of your baking dish, and up the side about 1 inch. If you are not using a square pan, turn out dough onto a well-floured piece of parchment. Form a square with the dough. No transfer to baking dish and press an inch up the sides.
- Place tray in freezer for about 20 minutes. Bake crust in the oven for about 20 minutes until lightly golden. Remove and allow crust to cool completely. Reduce oven to 325 degrees
To make the filling:
- Whisk together sugar, flour, salt, and zest. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and cream. Whisk until blended and creamy. Carefully pour over baked crust (cooled). Bake for 20 minutes until filling is set but still jiggles slightly when baking dish is shaken. Let cool for about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the inside of the dish to loosen crust then cool completely.
- Cut into small rectangles or squares and remove from dish with a spatula. Sift confectioners’ sugar over bars to serve.
To make the topping:
- Before baking, once you’ve pressed the dough along the sides of baking dish cut a straight edge (about 3/4 inch high) along the sides. Keep the excess dough. Pour in filling and bake as stated above.
- Place dough scraps in small bowl. Add flour and sugar, cut in cold butter in small pieces to make mixture crumbly and moist. Remove pan from oven after 20 minutes. Lightly rolling the crumble together with your fingers, sprinkle it over the surface evenly. Bake additional 7-12 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into evenly sized bars or square and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Based in Toronto, Renee Ferguson has been writing wedding and destination wedding articles, tips, and advice since 2009. She is a Certified Wedding Coordinator and Consultant.