Thursday, November 20, 2008

Classic Old Fashioned Lemon Squares

Sweet and tart, these old fashioned lemon squares are a classic.

Lemon Squares

I'm not a huge sweets eater, although I do have a few recipes here for some of my favorites. I don't tend to crave after a sweet as much as something savory and salty, unless it's those basic things - like homemade brownies, chocolate cake, pig pickin' cake, or these lemon bars.

They're old fashioned, which is what I tend to lean toward more it seems when it comes to desserts, but it may be more because they are rich in that sweet and tart thing I love so much. Here's how to make them.

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Recipe: Lemon Squares

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 50 min | Yield: About 12 squares


For the Crust:
  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted cold butter
For the Filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Extra powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the crust, combine 2 cups of the flour with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Slice the butter into the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in. Line a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some extra along the edges as handles so you can lift the dessert out of the pan after it cools. Add flour mixture to the pan and press into pan, using a bit of flour on your hands if it tends to stick. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

For the filling, whisk the eggs; add the sugar and lemon juice and whisk together. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of flour with baking powder and add to egg mixture, whisking it in. Pour the batter over the cooked crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for an additional 25 minutes, or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Lift out of pan, sift some extra powdered sugar over the top and cut into bars.

Cook's Notes: For a little more zing, add in the zest from the lemon. For this recipe, I used juice from Meyer lemons, but you may substitute regular lemons from the grocery store. The Meyer is a bit of a sweeter lemon, but I think that there is enough sugar to compensate for the difference, though you may like it a bit sweeter.

Lemon Crumb Bars: Combine 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon with 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled. Sprinkle mixture on top of batter, pressing in lightly. Bake as above.

Orange Squares: Substitute orange juice and zest for the lemon.


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Posted by on November 20, 2008
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  1. mmmmmm, I love lemon bars.

  2. Hey Momma Mary! Guess who??? It's your other "Okie daughter"!!! These sure look good! I need a great recipe for pecan pie..and homade pie any suggestions?? MIss ya and love ya bunches!!!

  3. Such SWEET memories....thank you so much for sharing your life as well as the recipe with all of precious. I,too, have sweet memories about figs and my grandmother ("Big Momma")....Being from the SOUTH, it is so sweet to hear other peoples family memories. My "Big Momma" had a huge fig tree just outside her kitchen and in the summer I have wonderful memories of making fig jam as well as old fashioned stack cake with figs. Oh,that was over forty years ago!

    I am going to make this tomorrow. I am going take it to a friends tomorrow night for dessert....wish me luck! How could it be anything but wonderful with sour cream, lemons, poppy seeds, figs and nuts! Wow, can't wait to try it! YUM Thanks so much for sharing another wonderful recipe and memory.

  4. This is the same recipe as my mothers. This brings back such wonderful memories of my mom. Thank you so much - sometimes after making your recipes I feel as though Im still cooking with my mom.

    1. Aw Amy! You just made my whole weekend!!

    2. Mary, Have you ever tried swapping out the lemon juice for Key Lime Juice? If you’ve never had real Key Limes, they’re nothing like lemons or limes. They’re small and very potent. We were fortunate in that we had 2 Key Lime trees, a banana tree and 2 mango trees in our yard, when we lived in the Keys. Mary’s dad had 4 Key Lime trees, kumquats and a dozen palm trees, with coconuts, in his yard. The closest thing that you’ll find in the supermarket is Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice. All of the Wally-Marts here carry it.
      PS: It also makes phenomenal Key Lime drop cookies; one of my very favorites.
      God bless

    3. I've been lucky enough to run across some Key limes occasionally here but they seem to have a very short window of availability. I guess most folks use the juice. I do love a Key lime pie - haven't used them for these bars though. I haven't had the cookies either - bet those are really good!


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