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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lemon Squares

I blame Nancy Drew for my obsession with Lemon Squares!
So I, Martha Stewart Junior, have a baking confession...before yesterday I always just made lemon squares from a box. Scandalous, I know! It's so shameful, but there it is. So yesterday was a big day for me, because I finally made lemon squares from scratch <insert me feeling pretty proud of myself>. And I can't lie, they are so much better (though I will say Krusteaz are pretty good). I guess I always made the box kind because I thought it was easier but really these weren't hard at all (Even if you're not someone who bakes these are easy). I highly recommend these little beauties because not only are they pretty, they taste amazing. So here's another Martha Stewart creation brought to you by me. Hope you enjoy!!!

Ingredients for the crust:
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen*, plus more for the dish
  • 1 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
Ingredients for the filling:
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbs AP Flour
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat** oven to 350. Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish***, and line with parchment (I don't know why you do both...I tend to not question Martha).
  2. Make crust: Grate butter on a cheese grater with large holes; set aside. Whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter, stir with a wooden spoon until combined and mixture looks crumbly.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared dish; press evenly onto bottom with your hands. Freeze Crust 15 minutes. Bake until slightly golden, 16-18 minutes. Leave oven on.
  4. Meanwhile, make filling: Whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and milk. Pour over hot crust.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 and bake until filling is set and edges are slightly golden brown, about 18 minutes minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 2-inch squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
*Yes you need to freeze your butter, for about 30mins to an hour before you start baking. You need to do this because you are going to use a cheese grater to shred up the butter...so you need it to be firm enough that it actually shreds and doesn't just smear across and make a huge mess.
**Depending on how fast your oven heats up (mine is pretty quick) I would recommend waiting to preheat your oven until you are done making the crust and its in the freezer...otherwise you are wasting a lot of energy. Go green people, wait to preheat!
***I don't have a glass dish that size, so I just used a normal baking pan. I ended up having to leave the crust in the oven a few minutes longer, as well as the filling. But they still came out great!

YUMMY!!! (Ignore the random salt shaker and glass of water)

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