Ahem, this post may or may not have been penned as a ‘back-up’ over the summer. But hey, there are times when that preparation becomes handy dandy. It’s inevitable. Times like now. Fresher or ‘O week’ of University is in full swing and spare minutes, let alone an hour, have been rare. Things’ll go back to normal around here
eventually…in the meantime here’s some cake. Cake is good. Right?
Light, luscious lemon squares. Nothing like getting some good alliteration going. Hey, some people liked English at school. Nothing to be ashamed of. Well, not much. There’s also nothing quite like the perfect mouthful of summer. Sweet as a pea with a refreshing lemony twist, these dainty pale yellow sponge squares are reminiscent of an English garden tea party. Of course if you’re trying to please the more macho personality, simply hack it into big slabs and slather with a double quantity of icing. Nothing elegant about that. Either way, it’s a smashing treat.
With less cleaning involved (always a bonus) than a cupcake and gentler on the stomach – and conscience – than a brownie, these Lemon Squares cover all your dessert/petit four/afternoon tea bases. Channel your inner English rose and serve them with fine bone china tea cups and lace doilies. Carve into itsy-bitsy cubes for a refreshing after dinner mouthful. Alternatively, increase the portion size and serve with a quenelle of good quality vanilla ice-cream or swirl of whipped cream for a ‘proper’ dessert.
Don’t fancy icing? Or can’t be bothered doing so? No problem. Simply dust with icing sugar and you’re good to go. These treats freeze well, iced or un-iced and take very little time to defrost. Clearly that’s variable depending on the portion size… I shouldn’t be assuming you’ve opted for smaller squares, should I?
Soft, cakey and oh-so-lemony, these Lemon Squares are sure to put a sunny smile on your face. Presumptuous? Corny? Must be the sweet, tangy sugar high talking….
Makes one 8×8 inch slab.
½ cup self raising flour
¼ cup plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup icing sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan and line with baking paper.
Sift together the flours and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggs with the lemon zest and juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter until creamy. I used a wooden spoon, however you can use an electric mixer. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated. Now add half of the egg mixture, beating well to combine. Follow with another 1/3 of the flour and then the last ½ of the egg mixture. Gently fold in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. The batter should be relatively smooth and creamy.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and use the back of a dampened plastic spatula to spread the batter out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until just turning golden and firm and springy to the touch. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted. Set the baking dish on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then turn the slice out onto the rack and leave to cool completely before icing.
Whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice to form a smooth, runny mixture. Spread over the cooled slice and allow the icing to set before cutting into squares.
Source: Adapted from Bakergirl (originally adapted from Rita’s Recipes).