There are two things I attribute to a successful grocery shopping trip: Not seeing anybody I know from high school (to be honest, small talk is not my favorite) and finding obscure products like Meyer lemons. I suppose Meyer lemons aren’t that obscure, but in recent winter seasons I’ve begun to notice their popularity. I was quite excited to see a bag of these little yellow-orange wonders. Apparently, Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a Mandarin orange, so they’re sweeter than your average lemon. (Georgia volunteered to try one. The verdict: sweeter, but not pleasant to eat by itself.)
The lovely thing about citrus in the winter is that it can really brighten a dreary day. We happened to make these on a cold/snowy/rainy day (is there any worse combination?!), which made the day a little bit nicer. If you’re experiencing the winter blues, I recommend these happy lemon squares. Take advantage of citrus while it’s still in season.
After my Meyer lemon discovery, I excitedly suggested to Georgia that we make lemon squares. She quickly agreed, then proceeded to tell me that at seven years old, she made up a joke about lemon squares.
“Where do desserts go on Saturday nights?”
“To the lemon square dance!”
This is why we are friends.
A couple tips for making these: always zest the lemon before juicing to keep things neat. If you want a thicker lemon layer, head over to Smitten Kitchen, where we got the recipe, for an thicker option. We mistakenly baked these a bit too long so the filling wasn’t as soft as it should have been, but delicious nonetheless. Make sure you pay attention to the bars while they’re in the oven, no matter how addicting Girls is.
Meyer Lemon Squares
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the crust
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
For the filling
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
2/3 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
2/3 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper or grease & flour the dish
- For the crust, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk together flour and salt and add to the butter mixture while the mixer is running. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough and press into the baking sheet; build the crust up 1/2 inch on the sides of the dish. Chill.
- Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack.
- For the filling, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, juice and flour. Pour over the crust and bake about 20-25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and dust with confectioners’ sugar.