The sunshine today inspired me to make something light and refreshing. So I made lemon squares! I went with a recipe from Emeril Lagasse and boy am I happy I chose this recipe today! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart. This is a very easy recipe to follow and comes with awesome results. Bake it or leave it? Definitely BAKE IT! Here’s where I found the recipe:
Servings: 12 (Emeril’s recipe says 24, but seriously, who’s only going to eat a tiny little square like that?)
Prep Time: 12 min
Inactive Time: 50 min
Cook Time: 55 min (my crust took 35 minutes to turn golden brown)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter
2/3 Cup powdered sugar, plus some extra if you want it for garnish
1/4 Cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 Cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 Cup whole milk (I used skim milk since that’s what I had on hand and it worked well also)
2/3 Cup fresh lemon juice, make sure to strain for seeds : ) (I like to use a little juicer as pictured above)
2 tablespoons limoncello or another lemon flavored liqueur (I used a lemon drop mix that I already had)
Lightly butter a 9×13 baking dish and line with a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Butter the top of this paper and then place a second sheet of paper crosswise over the first sheet. You’ll want a big enough piece of paper so that some is hanging over the edges. This will help you pull the lemon squares out of the pan later. Set the pan aside.
In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, 2/3 cups of the powdered sugar, the cornstarch, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and mix thoroughly. Cut the 12 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour mixture using your hands, 2 forks, or a pastry blender (I personally prefer a pastry blender). The mixture should resemble coarse meal. Transfer the butter-flour mixture to the prepared baking dish and press down until it’s about 1/4 inch thick all over and press some slightly up the sides of the dish as well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the crust is in the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the crust until it’s golden brown, about 20-25 minutes (it took 35 minutes for my oven, so just keep an eye on it).
While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling by combining the eggs, granulated sugar, flour and lemon zest in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, milk, limoncello, and remaining pinch of salt. Mix well.
When the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven
temperature to 325 degrees F. Stir the lemon mixture, then pour it onto the warm crust. Bake until the filling is set, which should be about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Grab the wax paper or parchment paper that lines the side of the dish and remove the bars by pulling up on the paper gently. The bars should easily come out of the pan (I waited for the bars to cool in the refrigerator before I pulled the dish out to cut them. If you do this, you may need to use a spatula around the edges of the dish to dislodge the paper). You can then transfer it to a cutting board and cut it into squares. Or you can just grab a fork and enjoy haha. If you want to dress up the bars, you can put some powdered sugar into a sieve and sprinkle the bars lightly with the sugar. You can then serve your lemon squares immediately or refrigerate them wrapped in plastic wrap. They should be good in the refrigerator for up to two days but I highly doubt they’ll go that long without being gobbled up.
I hope you enjoy these delicious lemon squares! I sure am enjoying mine!
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
*Courtesy of MyFitnessPal recipe calculator