Lemon Squares with Olive Oil

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I guess one upside of blog getting destroyed by malware is that I can repost and redo some of my favorite recipes! It’s like I have all this ‘new’ content without having to clean up my kitchen! I mean, let’s look on the bright side, right?

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I made these lemon squares a while ago and they are delicious. In fact, as I’m scrolling through these pictures, I am realizing that I need to make them again! While many lemon squares can be cloyingly sweet, these are pretty refreshing and don’t taste like you poured all the sugar into them.

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I think the olive oil lends a little earthy kind of flavor to these, which also helps with the less sweet feel to these bars. I used an olive oil that I got at Trader Joe’s–the California Estate brand. It comes in a nice cylindrical bottle and it is by far one of the tastiest olive oils I’ve had. I’ve heard people talk about how oils taste different in past, but not until I tried this oil did I understand what they meant. It really add something to any dish and since it’s from TJs, it’s not going to blow your grocery budget!

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On a final note, I need to make these again to try these again in order to finish them off with a sea salt sprinkle, now that I have my flakey salt. I think that will take these to the next level! So yea, get to it people!

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Lemon Squares with Olive Oil

from Melissa Clark via The New York Times

FOR THE CRUST

1 ¼ cups/155 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup/50 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons/25 grams confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons/142 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

FOR THE CURD:

4 to 6 lemons
1 ½ cups/300 grams sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 ½ teaspoons/5 grams cornstarch
Pinch of fine sea salt
4 tablespoons/57 grams butter
¼ cup/60 milliliters fruity extra-virgin olive oil
 Confectioners’ sugar
 Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a square pan (8×8 or 9×9) by lining it with parchment paper that hangs over the sides.

Make the shortbread crust. If you’re using a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, powdered sugar, lemon zest and sea salt until it’s well combined. Then add your butter and continue pulsing until it all comes together to form a crumbly dough. If you’re doing this by hand, whisk together the dry ingredients and then cut the butter in using two knives or a pastry cutter.

Press the dough into your pan and then bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is light golden brown all over.

While your crust is baking, make your curd. Zest the lemons to yield 1/2 tablespoon of zest. Then squeeze 3/4 cup of juice from your lemons.

In a saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and sea salt. Bring it all to a boil, then let it boil for 2-5 minutes so that it’s starting to thicken. Make sure it boils, but not too long. You need it to boil to activate the cornstarch, but not so long or else it will become runny again. Weird, I know. Once it’s thickened, remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Then whisk in the butter, olive oil and sea salt.

Once the shortbread is ready take it out of the oven and pour the lemon curd into the crust. Return to the oven and let it bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the curd is set. Allow it to cool to room temp, then refrigerate until cold before cutting. Sprinkle with sea salt and powdered sugar immediately before serving.

 

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