I've been waiting a while to say that. And no, I don't mean this in a Lothario kind of way. I just want you to be prepared. You know, scout-like. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night and all that kind of stuff. Wait. That's not right. That's the US postal services creed. Hmmm. Wonder what the scout one is?!? Doesn't matter. Just pucker up. Bet you're wondering why. OK, OK. I'll give. Scroll down below. I've got some lemons for you. Well, lemon squares to be exact. Which, believe you me, is even better. I'm fast becoming a fan of anything lemon (except lemon yellow paint - I still can't figure out where that works in a room). Lemon meringue pie. Lemon iced tea. Those delectable Italian lemon cookies. You know the ones - made of some yeast-y mix, they're usually displayed as a mountain range of little balls covered over with a lemon sugar icing. Yum! (And since I searched high and low for a recipe for them, I plan on doing some reverse engineering recipe work in the near future). And my absolute positively favorite of all favorite lemons - Lululemon!
Drat! I'm now distracted with Lulu and all the nice shiny new yoga gear. And I don't think it's good for you to stay all puckered up that long. So, you get to the lemon squares...while I just....hmmm.....what did you say.....
Lemon Squares (adapted from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 5 lemons), plus 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1. Grease a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with butter.
2. To make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, confectioners' sugar and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in the cubed butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
3. Press the dough into the bottom and about one-third of the way up the sides of the greased baking dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Bake until the crust turns an even blond color and is cooked through, about 15-17 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Keep the oven on 350.
6. To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the flour and the salt. Add the lemon juice and zest, and the almond extract. Whisk in the eggs and the egg yolk. Pour over the warm crust.
7. Bake the squares until the filling sets and the centre still jiggles slightly, 18-20 minutes.
8. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares.
- I didn't like the taste of the almond extract in the filling and would omit this the next time.
- The wheat germ is the secret ingredient here. The crust is delectable with it.
- A good way to get the most juice out of your lemons is to microwave them for a few seconds (30-40) each and then roll them on the counter, pressing.