I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Lemon squares

It's about this time of year that it seems like we somehow stumbled through the wardrobe into the eternal Narnian winter, with no hope of anything but cold and darkness for the rest of our days.  We've just about used up our supply of optimism, rotated through all of our sweaters, worn out our hats, lost a few gloves, and gotten thoroughly bored of our so-called cozy winter evenings.   In our discontent of winter, what better than some little squares of sweet, lemony sunshine, full of the promise of the coming spring?

I was in the mood for something with lemons, wavering between a lemon pudding cake, a lemon tart, or maybe a lemon icebox pie.  I finally decided that a batch of lemon squares would do the trick.   They couldn't be easier: simple shortbread base, an intensely lemony topping, and a good dusting of powdered sugar to finish.  I like to spice up the shortbread with some finely chopped crystallized ginger, the exact amount depending on how gingerly I feel like treading.


These can be kept but are best eaten on the same day.  If an entire pan sounds a bit much, just get a few hungry friends (or one large boyfriend) around, leave them in the middle of the table, and I have never found it to be a problem.  Everyone will be much happier afterwards.

Short crust base:

1/2 C/1 stick/113 g unsalted butter

1/4 C powdered sugar

1 C pastry flour

1-2 T. crystallized ginger

1/8 tsp salt

Lemon topping:

4 large eggs

1 1/2 C granulated sugar

3/4 C fresh lemon juice

zest of 2 lemons

1/3 C all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter an 8 x 8 inch pan.

For crust: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press into the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Filling: In a bowl whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until combined well and stir in lemon juice and flour. Pour lemon mixture over hot crust. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. and bake until set, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into squares. Sift powdered sugar over bars before serving.

Makes 16 squares

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmmm yummy yum!

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