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End of Summer Blues? Brighten up with tart Triple-Lemon Squares!

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

In Cajun-French 'envie' (pronounced Auh-Vee) means a sudden, persistent hunger or longing for something. Last week, I woke up with a monster-sized envie for lemon. I made Alton Brown's refreshing and tart barley-lemon water. I made a New Orleans-style BBQ sauce, an intoxicating concoction that makes even lemon seem rich. Both were delicious, but neither hit the spot like I knew a good dessert would. I found a gem of a recipe in The Bon Appetite Cookbook. My version ups the lemon flavor by working lemon zest into the shortbread layer and the filling. The original recipe calls for white sugar, but I've subbed it for light brown sugar, which rounds out all the tartness this treat can pack! If you're feeling fancy, go ahead and make the candied lemon peel as a topping. It's not at all difficult, just a little time consuming. Candied lemon peel packs serious wow-factor and is just plain delicious!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 4 teaspoons

1/2 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup (12 T) room temperature butter

1 T lemon zest

Pinch of salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 T lemon zest

Pinch of salt

Additional powdered sugar

1/2 cup candied lemon peel (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 T lemon zest, and salt in a larger bowl. Add butter. Using back of fork, blend until mixture resembles course meal. Using plastic wrap as an aid, press mixture over bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Maintain oven temperature .

2. A few minutes before taking crust out of the oven, beat eggs, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and remaining 4 teaspoons of flour in a medium bowl until smooth.

3. Pour lemon mixture over hot crust. Bake until lemon later is set, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

4. Cut pastry into 24 bars. Sift additional powdered sugar over before serving. Top with candied lemon peel, if using.

Candied Lemon Peel

1 large lemon

1/2 cup of sugar, plus 1/3 cup

1. Using a five-hole zester, carefully peel long ribbons of zest.

2. In a small saucepan, combine zest, 1/2 cup sugar, and the juice of the lemon. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for ten minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

3. Spread remaining sugar into parchment paper. Slowly pour mix though a fine sieve, reserving the syrup. Add candied zest to remaining sugar. Use a fork to gently separate zest, coating generously with sugar. Store by loosely covering with plastic wrap.

#dessert #lemon

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