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Sunday, January 25, 2009
There is something inherently comforting about old school desserts like brownies, chocolate chip cookies and lemon squares. For me, they evoke a time when our sweet cravings were satisfied by something simple, and more Betty Crocker like before we ate molten chocolate cakes, brules, and other seemingly fancier desserts.
Truth be told, I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I prefer a crusty baguette with a really nice butter to something sweet or chocolatey. But when I crave something sweet, this is what I crave. We have a bakery down the street that sells these humble little bars drizzled with white chocolate. Unfortunately, these bars rarely scratch the itch for me. There is not enough lemon curd and not nearly enough lemon flavour. While this bakery makes a mean mincemeat pie at Christmas, I have to turn to my own kitchen for a proper lemon square.
This is also one of my stand-by desserts to bring to a casual dinner party.
They are homey and unfussy but well plated, they look fancy enough for the occasion. I bring my shaker of icing sugar for plating and some fruit (I like blackberries) and you have dessert.
(This is also a great way to get rid of the three egg yolks if you made this.)
1 cup flour less 2 tbsp
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cornmeal or crushed pistachios
4 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 whole egg
3 egg yolk
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 tbsp 35% cream
juice of 1 large lemon*
Zest from 1 large lemon
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 F and butter and line the bottom of a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper
Combine flour, salt, cornmeal (crushed pistachios) and icing sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the dough is crumbly
Press dough into pan, trying to ensure the crust is even throughout. Bake crust for about 18 minutes until the edges look golden. Set crust aside to cool
Whisk the together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, cream, juice, zest and baking powder until smooth. Carefully pour the filling into the cooled crust
Bake for approximately 25 minutes until set (the top will be slightly golden - do not overcook)
Cool at room temperature then chill in the fridge
Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar
*I have also made this recipe using limes (needs about 3 limes)