Slices Of Sweet and Sour Ecstasy

David Rosengarten's recipe for lemon squares.

If you're a fan of tart lemon desserts, you'll love these small squares of sweet and sour ecstasy, set on a flaky crust.

Makes sixteen 2" squares

For the crust:
4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2" cubes, plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter for greasing the baking pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the filling:
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
6 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
confectioner's sugar for dusting

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Use 2 teaspoons of the butter to grease an 8" x 8" baking pan.

3. In a food processor, pulse together the cup of flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup light brown sugar, ginger and teaspoon of lemon zest. Drop the cubes of butter down the feed tube, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

4. Place mixture in the buttered baking pan, and using your hands, spread mixture out across the bottom of pan evenly. Tamp down to compact it. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

5. In the meantime, make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until well-blended. Add the zest and lemon juice, then the flour and the baking powder.

6. Pour mixture onto the baked crust; it's okay if the crust is still warm. Smooth out so the filling is even.

7. Bake in 350-degree oven until the filling is just set, about 20 minutes. Do not over bake. Set on rack to cool.

8. When it's cool, dust with confectioner's sugar and cut into 2" squares. Serve at room temperature.




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