GINNA PARSONS: Lemon squares a perfect end to family meal

You’d think with school out for the summer, our lives would be less hectic these days, but the opposite seems true.
I had to request a “family dinner” this past Sunday because it had been weeks since we’d broken bread with my mother-in-law and my stepdaughter and granddaughter.
For that matter, I think it had been a good 10 days since I’d sat down at the table with my husband and our two teenagers.
The original plan was for burgers and brats on the grill, but once we saw the forecast and heat index, I opted to let the good folks at Todd’s Big Star smoke a couple of chickens for us.
We paired the chicken with some farmers’ market new potatoes and green beans and a package of brown and serve rolls and ate until we popped.
Daughter Mary had decided, while we were in the middle of the grocery store earlier in the day, that she wanted to prepare dessert for the evening. Specifically, she had her heart set on lemon squares.
I haven’t made those things in years and so could not pull the recipe out of my head. But I did remember a boxed mix someone had used once that was pretty good.
So we bought a box and Mary made them and they really were quite tasty, especially with a cup of coffee.
But if you want the real thing, butter and all, here’s the recipe.

Lemon Squares

Shortbread Crust
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
14 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
18 teaspoon salt

Lemon Filling
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
13 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
1 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Coat an 8×8-inch pan with butter or cooking spray.
For the crust, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
For the filling, beat the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Fold in the flour. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling has set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Best eaten the day they are made.
Makes 16 squares.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginny Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal