Lemon Squares

I’m sensing a theme with my desserts on this blog. That theme is lemons. They just go so nicely with sugar, and they come in such a big bag from Costco! When I have lemons, I usually have A LOT of lemons. I use them a great deal in savory foods and they add a fresh element to dishes that might be weighed down by other richer ingredients (mmm, cream . . .). In desserts they add a wonderfully zingy counterpart to the sweet of sugar. The sour and sweet notes pair off each other quite nicely in these simple lemon squares.

This batch came out wonderfully! The bottom crust layer is crisp (a result of baking in by itself first) and shortbread-like (how could it not be with all that butter?), the filling is moist but fully set and ever so slightly puffed up. And, since I eyeballed the lemon zest in the recipe (it called for 1 tsp), I think I ended up with a bit more, and that little bit of extra lemonyness is lovely. And, to top it all off and make it look pretty, sifted powdered sugar. Sunshine on a plate!

Lemon Squares

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp lemon zest (using more zest gives this dessert a bit more zing)

Preheat the oven to 375º F and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Make sure you get the sides because that is where they will stick.

Combine the flour, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, and butter. Pat dough into prepared pan, creating a mostly even layer. Don’t worry about it too much; you’ll be fine as long as there are no gaping holes. The custard layer will level out the finished dessert.

Bake the crust for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly golden. While the crust is baking, whisk together remaining ingredients until frothy. Pour this lemon mixture over the hot crust.

Return to the preheated oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes (mine took 23), or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares and eat!

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