desserts · Farmers Market recipes

Tangy Springtime Lemon Squares

There’s no dessert that seems more like springtime to me than lemon squares. They’re so bright, fresh, and old-fashioned.  They’re the kind of dessert I picture Aunt Bee in Mayberry taking to church dinner on Easter. They’re cool and bright, which is just what I want in a warm-weather dessert.

The lemon curd filling is so dense and has such a bright tanginess that it can make your cheeks hurt when you take the first bite. I love that! In the following recipe, which I found several years ago on  Martha Stewart’s site, you can adjust that if you’d like them less tart, more sweet. Just see the tip below the recipe.


Tangy lemon squares

Crust ingredients:

    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
    • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • Lemon filling:
    • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/4 cup whole milk
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish; line dish with waxed paper. (If you have no paper, just spray the pan with cooking spray, like Baker’s Joy. I’ve done that with good results.)
  2. Make crust: Grate butter on a cheese grater with large holes. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Add butter; stir with a wooden spoon until combined and mixture looks crumbly. (alternatively, use  a pastry blender or forks to incorporate the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly – no large chunks of butter, looks more like cornmeal.)
  3. Transfer mixture to baking dish; press evenly onto bottom with your hands. Chill crust in freezer 15 minutes. Bake until slightly golden, 16 to 18 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make filling: In a large (1 quart) liquid measuring cup, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and milk.
  5. Remove crust from the oven and pour filling mixture over hot crust. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until filling is set and edges are slightly golden brown, about 18 minutes. Remove dish from the oven. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Grip paper; lift out dessert, and set on cutting board. With a sieve, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares

Tip: the filling for these lemon squares is very tangy; if you want a less tart version, use 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup milk.

I hope you’ll enjoy this delicious treat! Share some with your family, take them to work to share with coworkers, or find a church dinner to attend, and take them along to share!



You might also like:  Lemon-Raspberry “Brownies”


Lemon Icebox Dessert

lemon icebox dessert

Copyright 2013 Stephanie Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.


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