I have a friend who makes the BEST (absolute BEST) lemon squares. EVER.
Micheline … I’m talking about you.
Her lemon squares are tart and fresh and light. The side pieces are spectacular … the graham crust base adds a little sweetness. Perfectly balanced. Perfectly baked. A complete delight.
And so … although I heart all things lemon, I haven’t baked lemon squares in ages because I can’t imagine making a batch as wonderful as Micheline’s.
These aren’t the same. But they sure are good. DARN GOOD.
I was co-hosting a female cocktails and bling thingy (you know … ladies gather to drink and try on jewelry) … and wanted to bring along some baked treats.
I decided that it was time to try a new recipe (friends and family are always the best people to taste-test new recipes on) … and upon mentioning a blueberry – coconut – lemon combo to another friend (Rose … I’m talking about you now) … she pretty much convinced me I absolutely had to make these.
I’m glad that I did.
The original recipe is from bon appétit’s desserts recipe book (double-lemon bars). It caught my eye because it promised big lemon flavour (a must) … and looked like it would have a firm enough base to hold the addition of toasted coconut and blueberries.
It lived up to my demands.
The one thing … and perhaps I’m noticing it because I haven’t made lemon squares recently … but these were really (and I mean REALLY) sticky and gooey: both good things … just have a napkin on hand … or don’t be afraid of licking your fingers.
I pretty much always opt for licking my fingers ;0)
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 c. butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp vanilla
lemon – blueberry filling:
1/2 c. coconut, toasted
1 1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
6 eggs, room temperature
3 tbsp flour
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a rectangular pan (9×11) with foil or parchment paper and generously spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Using your food processor, blend together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter, and cut it in, using the pulse “on/off” method, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vanilla and process until the dough comes together. You’ll know it’s ready when you take a bit and pinch it together and it holds.
Press the dough evenly into the pan – using a flat bottom measuring cup, evenly flatten the base. Bake until the crust is golden – about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling.
Toast the coconut for about 8 minutes on a cookie sheet in the oven. Set aside.
No need for fancy equipment – whisk together the sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the lemon juice and flour. Whisk to incorporate. Strain into another bowl (you’ll see that not all the flour dissolved, the whisk will catch that and any lemon pits you might have missed).
Mix in the lemon zest.
Reduce your oven to 325 F.
Spread the blueberries evenly over the base. Top with the toasted coconut. Pour the lemon mixture over-top; ensuring that the entire pan is evenly covered.
Bake until the sides are set and the filling no longer moves when the pan is shaken. About 35 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Cover and chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Using the foil or parchment as an aid, lift the dessert from the pan. Fold down the sides, cut away the edges, creating a clean side … and a little snack for the baker :0)
Cut into rectangular bars … or do like me, and cut the rectangular bars into 3 smaller cubes. I was able to get over 2 dozen pieces.
Remember this recipe creates a very gooey bar… a very delightful twist on a the traditional lemon square.
You should try it.