I don't know about you, but this icing sugar-dusted lemon squares sure makes me hear Bing Crosby's White Christmas in the background. I've been wanting to make these bars ever since I saw it in Moira's blog early in the year though it's only now that I found an excuse due to a glut of lemons that I really don't want to throw in the bin.
If we dissect these delectable little things, we find that it's essentially lemon curd on top of shortbread. Lovely contrast of sour-sweet topping with the crumbly bottom crust. Very very nice. Hmmm...
The original recipe from Moira can be found here, though I've changed just two things in it - the baking time (30 minutes) and the cutting of the butter in the flour (I forgot to freeze it).
Let me take this opportunity to give a very big thank you to Moira for sharing her heirloom family recipe.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar (confectioner's)
250 g [1 cup] butter - frozen
4 eggs - beaten
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
extra icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.
- Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
- For the crust:
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Grate the frozen butter (using the large holes of a box grater) into the dry mixture. Or if you forgot to freeze the butter, cut it in the flour mixture with a pastry mixer or two butter knives.
- Toss the butter pieces to coat, then rub between your fingers until the flour turns into a coarse breadcrumb-like texture.
- Put the mixture into the lined pan and press firmly with your fingers to form an even crust.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- For the filling:
- Mix the eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl.
- Add the lemon juice and zest and combine well.
- Pour mixture into the pan on top of the warm crust.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling feels firm when touched lightly.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.
- Grasp the parchment and carefully lift the bars onto a cutting board.
- Cut into serving size squares or bars, wiping your knife clean between cuts if necessary. Remove the parchment paper after cutting.
- Sift icing sugar over bars and serve.