Over the years, my tastebuds have grown up and gotten an education. I now find myself preferring savory over sweet, so when I do prefer sweet, it better be lip-puckeringly sour. I’ve also learned that I’d better choose my calories wisely these days (ugh), but I have zero issues splurging on these things. They are the best combination of sweet and sour, perfect for eating all year round, and pretty ideal for the holidays. If I’m going to get festively plump, I’d better enjoy it.
For the crust:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into ¾-inch pieces
For the filling:
3 large whole eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
¾ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, strained
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 tsp. grated Meyer lemon zest
1 lemon, sliced thin
Now you’re ready to go!
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm.) square baking pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar and, salt until blended. Cut in the butter until the mixture forms big ol’ crumbs (the size of peas). You can also do this in a food processor, unfortunately it’s not my mother’s kitchen and I don’t have all of these fancy amenities on the ready on my own….yet.
Press the crumbly mixture you just made into the bottom of a square pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake the crust at 350 for about 15-20 minutes until it is golden and the top feels firm. Try your best not to taste test this part, set your crust aside and then reduce the oven to 325 degrees.
For the lemon filling whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves over the stovetop, doing a little double-broiler action. Place over–but do not touch!–barely simmering water and add the butter pieces. Stir, stir, stir until the butter melts and the mixture is thick enough to coat your spoon. Don’t eat this, still. I promise. Remove the pan from the water and strain the lemon goodness into a bowl. Stir in the lemon zest. Let cool for 10 minutes. Pour the lemon curd into the baked crust, and add the sliced lemons to the top. This’ll make your squares look real pretty. Ok, you can lick the spoon now.
Now we’re talkin–Bake until the center is set, about 13-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. They always say to chill this, but really there’s nothing like a warm lemon square. So by all means, eat.