This was actually one of the first posts I wrote a few months ago and did not finish, but when I went to check it out, I realized I didn’t write down a single ingredient that I used! So… I remade these at previously mentioned impromptu Sunday supper. Here we go:
When I was probably around 8 years old I started making lemon squares. The recipe is from my mother’s college roommate’s mother’s avon lady. Yes, you read that correctly. It is THE best lemon square recipe known to man and I became the lemon square maker at a very young age. My mom used to have to mix the crust for me when I was wee and I made these for just about every occasion and until I went GF, I made them all the time. In fact, it was my go-to recipe when there is nothing else in the house or I can make it at parties in minutes flat with guests waiting for a midnight snack. My mother wrote this down on a piece of lined paper in 1970ish. I used that browned and waxy piece of paper for years.
I hadn’t made this recipe in over a year, but then the director of our Farmers’ Market requested something “lemony” for her birthday. I had 2 choices: I could make these famous lemon squares and torture myself as I watched others eat them, or I could experiment. I could alter the best recipe ever and see what could happen. I chose the latter.
Here is my version of these lemon squares and I must say they turned out pretty darn good. I started with a pecan almond crust and went from there…
Pecan Almond Crust
2 c almond flour (blanched almonds, ground in the cuisinart)
1 1/2 c pecans, ground (still cracking those from our trees)
5 T sugar
1/2 c butter (earthspread)
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
2 t vanilla (I used 1 Tablespoon for my version here but next time I would do less)
Heat oven to 350. Grind the almonds and pecans in the cuisinart to a fine powder. Add other dry ingredients and blend. Add butter and vanilla and blend until completely mixed. Press the crust with your fingertips into a 9×12 pyrex. While I would normally suggest pressing it up the sides, I found that this crust is better without being very high up on the sides. So I covered the bottom, and then pressed just up from the corner. The dough is very sticky. Don’t worry, it works. Alas, my pyrex was tied up, so I used 2 smaller pans. Par-bake the crust for about 10 minutes.
Then the filling. These are puckering lemon squares. As in, not those uber sweet ones you find at the store. It’s also a very gooey recipe, not tons of flour in the filling, which is why it was so easy to substitute the 4 T of flour it calls for with arrowroot (I’m sure tapioca starch would do too or white rice flour mightwork too).
2 c (scant) sugar
1/2 c lemon juice
4 T arrowroot powder
Beat together all of the above ingredients with a whisk and add it to par-baked crust. Bake at 350 for another 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you must.