So according to Punxsutawney Phil, Spring is near however since that prediction four weeks ago I have seen only two brief glimpses of Spring in the form of delightfully sunny, 50-degree days. What a tease. I don’t think I’m going to make it until March 20th! This has been one of the most horrendous winters here in recent memory.
As I recently sat reflecting on all of the blizzards and major winter storms this year, I found myself longing even more for the warmer days of Spring. I can’t wait to start seeing the first glimpses of budding flowers and leaves on the trees. (In fact, I planted a tree in the Fall so I’ll be curious to see if it survived this harsh winter.) I look forward to going for walks, playing outside with the kids and dog, going to the park, feeding the ducks and all the joys that come with being able to once again be outside in the warm air. Spring can’t come soon enough!
When I think of warmer days I think of light, crisp flavors. I especially find myself thinking of lemons. I don’t know what it is but something about citrus fruit says Spring to me. Granted, I’m a big fan of lemons all year-long (Exhibit A) but come warmer days I find it to be an even more prominent ingredient in the things I make.
So in my pursuit of warmer days, I decided to make something lemony. I wanted something fresh and sweet. Then, I had the thought of lemon squares. They would be just the thing to satisfy my yearning for lemon. They were delightful with a nice buttery crust topped with a slightly sweet lemon filling dusted with powdered sugar. It will bring you to a bright and happy place as you wade through these last few weeks of winter.
Adapted from Paula Deen via Food Network
2 c. flour
1 c. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch of salt
2 sticks of butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing your baking dish
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, divided
2 c. granulated sugar
6 Tbsp flour
8 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with butter.
– In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour, powdered sugar, salt and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Cut in the butter using a pastry blend and work until it’s a crumbly texture.
– Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of your prepared dish then bake for 20 minutes.
– While the crust bakes, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and remaining 6 tablespoons of flour.
– Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer.
– Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.