I am not a big fan of chocolate so I hardly ever zero in on chocolate desserts. When at a restaurant or a function, I go for the other desserts ~ pies, tarts, fresh fruit, ice cream, cheesecake and particularly lemon squares. Oh, I love them!
These lemon squares have a great tender, rich crust that doesn’t crumble easily and a lemon filling that is really ‘super lemony.’ The recipe includes lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract. It’s like sweet/tart lemon curd on a buttery shortbread crust. The texture of the lemon filling is creamy and just a little gooey. Wow! Tangy and decadent!
Lemon squares are a great mix between sweet and tart and a perfect dessert or treat any time!
Luscious Lemon Squares
1½ sticks, plus 2 teaspoons butter, room temperature
1¾ cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for garnish
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
½ teaspoon lemon extract
¼ cup milk
Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1 teaspoon of butter.
Line with 1 sheet of parchment or waxed paper.
Butter the top of this sheet of paper with 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter.
Lay a second sheet of parchment or waxed paper crosswise over the first sheet.
The parchment should be cut large enough so that the sides are even with the top of the baking dish. This extra paper will be used as handles to help lift the lemon squares from the pan later. Set pan aside.
In a large bowl, combine 1¾ cups of the flour, 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar, cornstarch, and ¾ teaspoon salt and mix thoroughly.
Cut the remaining 1½ sticks of butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Transfer butter-flour mixture to the prepared baking dish and press into a 1/4-inch layer along the bottom and partly up the sides of the pan.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
While the crust is in the refrigerator, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the crust until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
While the crust is baking, assemble the filling by combining eggs, granulated sugar, flour and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Stir in lemon juice, milk, lemon extract and remaining pinch of salt; mix well.
When crust is done, remove from oven.
Stir the lemon mixture again; pour onto the warm crust.
Bake until filling is set, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Lift the paper that lines the 2 longest sides of the baking dish and remove the bars from the pan by pulling up.
The entire dessert will come away from the pan easily.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
A Perfect lemony dessert!
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway.