Who can resist a lemon square? With its buttery base, and bright, mouth-puckering filling, it’s something I want to buy every time I see it in a pastry case. Our fridge is overflowing with lemons right now, and my wife needed a baked good for barter, so I set out to look for a good recipe for lemon squares.
Serious Eats had a promising version called “Sunny Lemon Bars” by the talented Stella Parks, but it called for 11 eggs and 8 lemons, which is a pretty steep ingredient list. Instead, I used a recent Cook’s Illustrated recipe.
The crust was as easy as could be and uses melted butter to achieve a crisp, well-browned base. I prefer something more like shortbread, but do appreciate something that can be stirred together in one bowl and just pressed into the pan.
The filling has an unusual ingredient. In the corresponding article, the author Lan Lam discusses how to increase lemony flavour and aroma, without affecting the texture of the filling. She ends up incorporating cream of tartar, a full two teaspoons!
These were very, very good lemon bars. We gave away half the batch, and ate the rest within the next day!