Call it my Italian Spring thing.
It begins with forsythia’s bright yellow star-shaped flowers, then childhood’s marshmallow “peeps” everywhere and before I know it I’m heading to the bakery for a Lemon Slice aka Lemon Square, Lemon bar— the same bright yellow shimmying pastry —but I’ve been using the wrong name. And I just got another name, “Lemon Fridge Tart” from South Africa lovelylaylacooks ,but universally, the theme’s the same!
Italians like slices…Napoleon, pumpkin, apple, use a bakery pan, a crust, great fillings and slice away.
Not to mention Pizza. But, I’m on a sweet track.
This time, instead of going to the bakery; I googled Lemon Slices for a recipe and got exactly that! Slices of lemons.
I mainly used Emily Luchetti’s recipe…she’s Italian and no one in my family has ever handed down a recipe for a Lemon Slice, Square or Bar. We bought them at the Italian bakery.
Now I know why!
Not So Easy “Easy Tart Lemony Lemon Squares”
And you can add Lemoncello*…
Adapted from Classic Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
I added lemon zest to the crust mixture but it wasn’t necessary.
6 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 7 lemons)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Lemoncello* (*Emeril’s idea and I used it) or freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose flour
About 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Combine the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and whisk until mixed.
Add the butter and continue to mix with pastry blender or two knives until the butter is the size of small peas, like a pie crust. The mixture will be very dry. Gently press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until smooth.
Stir in the lemon juice and then the flour. Pour the filling on top of the crust.
Bake until the lemon filling is set, about 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then cover in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour or keep at room temperature for 3 hours before cutting. The cutting is time consuming. Rinse off cutting knife after each cut. Cut into squares or bars.
Or Lemon Drops.
Lemoncello* Lemon Drops— petite size— cut 1 inch pieces and place into mini-baking cups.
Dust the tops with the confectioners’ sugar.
The squares maybe made a day in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.
Bring to room temperature before serving. And have a party!