Thursday, March 4, 2010

Last Class of Session 2-

Lemon Squares

Unfortunately,  all of the photos taken in class today to be used here for instructions are currently unavailable due to technical difficulties!  Hopefully I will get them on here soon,  but for now you will only have these words to follow......

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.  Butter or spray an 8x8 in. square pan.  As we found today in class, the glass pans seem to work better than metal pans for this recipe.  The edges and bottom do not get as brown.


Shortbread Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

Lemon Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately two large lemons)
1 tablespoons grated lemon zest *
2 tablespoons flour

Confectioner's (powdered) sugar

 { *lemon zest = the yellow outer rind of the lemon that contains the fruit's flavor and perfume.}

To make the crust:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together.  Press onto the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling:

In a bowl, mix the eggs and sugar with a whisk until smooth.   Add the flour and mix to combine.  Chop the zest and add it to the lemon juice, but do not add these to the egg mixture until just before pouring onto crust.  When crust has had time to cool (10-15 minutes), add lemon to egg mixture and whisk.  Pour over crust and bake for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until firm when you jiggle the pan and brown around the edges.

Cool completely before attempting to cut.  You may even refrigerate them once the pan is cool enough to handle.  Once it has set completely, use a pizza cutter or thin knife to cut around the perimeter and then cut three rows one direction and 3-4 rows the other (depending on how large you want your pieces).  It is best to periodically wipe the knife with a damp towel so that the cuts are clean.  Remember, these treats are very sweet and intense with lemon flavor.  Small pieces are preferable to large.  You can always come back for seconds.... if there are any left!

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