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JAN D’ATRI’S LEMON SQUARES

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January’s #Citrus Recipe of the Month | By Jan D’Atri

LEMON SQUARES

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour plus 4 tablespoons, divided

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 sticks (one cup) butter, melted

4 large eggs

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 2 cups flour with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and set aside.

Pour melted butter into a 9×13-inch baking dish (metal preferred).

Stir in flour and powdered sugar mixture. With a fork, mix until well combined, creating a dough. Press evenly with your hand to form a crust in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together eggs and bottled lemon juice until fully combined.

Just before the crust comes out of the oven, to the egg mixture add 2 cups granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, salt and baking powder. Blend with a electric mixer on medium until combined. Pour over hot crust. Bake for another 25 minutes.

Let cool. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar to serve. Squares can be covered with foil and refrigerated or made ahead and frozen in a well-sealed air-tight container. Makes 24 squares.

JAN’S NOTE:

I was curious as to why some bakers prefer bottled lemon juice to fresh-squeezed. Research in my cook books and on line revealed that many pastry chefs prefer bottled lemon juice simply because of consistency. Some lemons are less tart and “lemony” than others, and bottled lemon juice provides the exact amount of tartness every time.

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