Friday, November 5, 2010

Lemon Squares

When I realized a couple months back that I had no recipe for lemon squares on this blog, I was shocked. Lemon squares are a dessert classic - a must-have recipe for every serious baker. And now you have one. And these aren't just any lemon squares - with slightly more effort that usual, you can produce a creamy, tangy and sweet confection.

This recipe ensures two things - a crisp, firm crust for the base, and a rich, creamy top. The topping is an improvised lemon curd, which means it needs a little more work before baking - by cooking it first in a saucepan.
When it's ready, pouring it over a still-hot par-baked crust ensures everything cooks evenly and is done at the same time. The extra effort here is so worth it - this will be the last lemon square recipe you'll ever bookmark.

Tip of the Day: After you've zested your lemon, roll it around on the counter a little while applying pressure with your hand. This will allow you to get more juice out when you squeeze it.

(from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)

1¼ cups flour
½ cup confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into 12 pieces and softened

7 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
⅔ cup lemon juice
¼ cup lemon zest
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter or margarine
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix together the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt. With a food processor or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only small pieces.
Press the mixture into a foil-lined and greased 9-inch pan. Bake on 350 F about 20 minutes.
While it's cooking, in a medium saucepan, mix together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until mixed.
Add in the lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine.
Add in the butter, and set the pan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the butter is melted, and the curd has thickened slightly - a thermometer should register 170 degrees, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat immediately, and strain it into a bowl. Stir in the cream and pour over the still-host crust.
Bake another 10 to 15 minutes until shiny and opaque.
Let cool completely before cutting. Serve with confectioners' sugar dusted on top.


  1. Drool! Those look excellent. Next time I have to bring a dessert to a potluck (I'm always signed up to bring dessert despite what I want to do), I'm bringing this.

  2. mmmmmm! awesome photos. I want to try this! Thanks for sharing. :O)

  3. I love lemon!!! Can't wait to try this recipe!!

  4. sounds yummy! just wondering, about how many bars does this make? thanks!

  5. Hi Eden -

    Well it's in a 9-inch square pan, so it will make about 16 2-inch lemon bars.
    Hope that helps!


  6. Made this recipe and was extremely pleased... wouldn't change a thing, basically a lemon meringue pie in a square. Just use the white's and you have a meringue. Thanks

  7. I’m going to finally try this recipe next week! So excited ��

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