Finally!!!! I finally got some time to whip up a blog-worthy recipe to share! I've been trying to shake this "vacation-mode" after my trip to Bermuda a couple weeks ago but with catching up at work and everything else I haven't had much time to get around to blogging.
But since this past weekend was Mother's Day, I got around to whipping up these lovely lemon squares to share with my Mom & Grandma. I used Ina Garten's Lemon Bar recipe, find it here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-bars-recipe. I made a few tweaks and was really happy with the results! Also... I was quite surprised by how easy this recipe was. As I've mentioned in my "About" section and in my social media bios, I'm a very much a beginner cook! I don't have years of experience experimenting in the kitchen, so I still try to find simple, easy and foolproof recipes that are sure to impress. And l can definitely file these lemon squares under that category.
I've had success in using Ina's recipes in the past and had this specific recipe on my "Must try" list for a while! My Mother's day included a lot of travel around the GTA so I wanted to make a treat that would be resilient and not melt into a mess throughout the day. One piece of advice if you plan on transporting these squares around: Don't cover the squares with icing sugar until you are ready to serve. The icing sugar melted into the lemon topping throughout the day, although they still tasted GREAT, the presentation wasn't as impressive :(
I've included the recipe below, if you get a chance to make them let me know what you think :)
A dusting of icing sugar makes everything look so delicious!
I was really happy with the consistency of the lemon filling and it was the right amount of tartness!
I was excited to use this pretty gilded saucer, another one of my recent thrift store purchases.
The ratio of lemon filling to shortbread crust made for a delicious bite of the smooth lemon custard vs. crunchy and buttery crust.
I would recommend serving your lemon square cut in half (as seen below)
The stacking fun begins! I saw some pictures of stacked lemon tarts and though it was a cute way of presenting them :)
Lovely Lemon Squares
Adapted from Ina Garten's Lemon Bar Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-bars-recipe
I added in some vanilla into the crust. I also cut the amount of sugar and upped the amount of flour for the filling. The filling turned out really yummy and it wasn't too sweet since I reduced the sugar. It's a pretty forgiving recipe for the most part, so you can tailor the sweet and tartness as you wish.
For the shortbread crust:
1 C butter
1/2 C sugar
2 C flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
For the lemon filling:
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 C sugar
2 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 3 medium-large lemons)
1 C freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 medium-large lemons)
1 C flour
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, start with the crust. Make sure the butter has been softened to room temperature and cream the butter with the sugar. I used the Level 4 setting of my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and mixed the butter and sugar together for 1 minute.
2. Place the mixer on low (Level 1) and then add the vanilla, flour and salt to the mixture. Once all combined, place the dough onto a floured cutting board/counter top and then gather the dough into a ball. Press the dough into a 9 by 13 inch baking sheet with your hands, spreading it evenly across the pan. Press a small 1/2-inch edge on the sides of the baking sheet. And then chill the dough in your fridge for 10 minutes.
3. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place in oven, bake for 20 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
4. Time to make the filling: combine the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour into a bowl and whisk together. Pour the filling mixture over the crust and bake for 35 minutes.
5. Important part: Let the lemon squares cool before cutting into them. I was reading some comments on the original recipe and people noted that they had issues with the filling being very runny. So to be safe, let the lemon squares cool completely before cutting!
6. Once cool ;) cut into 12 squares and then further divide each square in half, sprinkle with icing sugar and then serve, devour and enjoy!
More pictures of these lovely treats: