When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Squares!
Lemon is possibly my favourite flavour. You can’t beat the sweet sharp tang as an accompaniment to a cup of tea and good book on a lazy rainy Sunday afternoon.
As the rain and wind hammered at my windows today, I was so glad I’d baked these lemon squares last night.
Not too sweet, not too bitter, they are a delicious slightly gooey treat.
On Saturday I wanted to bake something with lemons sitting on the shelf. But what?!
Lemon poppyseed muffins, lemon drizzle loaf, tart au citron… I couldn’t make up my mind. I’ve been making quite a few ‘cakey’ cakes recently, so decided I wanted to do something different.
I haven’t made a traybake in a while. Probably not since I baked a batch of orange Nanaimo bars about a year ago (!). Side note – google Nanaimo Bars NOW if you’ve never heard of them. You won’t regret it.
So, with that in mind I decided on this buttery biscuit/tart au citron mash-up – LEMON SQUARES.
For the base:
- 120g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 200g plain flour
For the Lemon Top:
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 225g caster sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 100ml lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- Icing sugar to decorate
Cut the butter into cubes, place in bowl and microwave until melted – about 1 and a half minutes (but keep checking it!). Set aside to cool slightly.
Pre-heat oven to 180°c/160°c fan and line a 26cm x 16cm baking tray with greaseproof paper, making sure the paper overhangs slightly so it’s easier to lift out.
Transfer the melted butter into a larger bowl, stir in the sugar and vanilla, then sift flour and cornflour into the bowl. Keep stirring it until it forms a soft dough.
Mould the dough into your prepared baking tray, making sure it’s pressed into the corners and even. Bake for around 20 minutes until golden on top. Leave to cool in baking tray – be patient, this is important!
Meanwhile, grate the lemon zest and squeeze the lemons until you have 100ml juice.
Once the base has cooled make the top by whisking the eggs and adding the lemon rind. Sift flour and sugar into the mixture, followed by the lemon juice, and continue whisking until well combined.
Poor the mixture over the base and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is just set.
leave to cool in pan, then decorate with icing sugar. I cut it into 24 squares, but they’re arguably slightly too small. But then theres no harm in having 4 in a day (guilty!).
Enjoy with a cup of tea and good book.