Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Learn to Cook "LEMON SQUARES" with T.Rube

This chick has a crazy attraction to all things food. She loves to eat, for starters. But, even more than eating, she loves to cook. She takes every opportunity to help out in the kitchen; from mixing, to sauteing, to pouring, to cutting, to peeling potatoes and grating cheese. When asked what she wants to be when she gets older, her immediate answer is "an alien chef". Hmmmmm..... not so sure about the alien part....but the chef part... We can accommodate that!

She spends time every day watching cooking shows and has a number of her favourites set on the pvr to watch on demand. It doesn't seem to matter who is cooking; male or female; or what they're cooking; sweets or savouries. It doesn't even have to be something that she likes to eat. Today, she watched an entire half hour of 'cooking with onions', for example.

Yesterday on a PBS show, she watched a woman make Lemon Squares. She loves lemon meringue pudding and lemon yogourt, and asked me if we could make these squares. So, I found the recipe online and shopped for the few ingredients we were missing this morning. And we were set to go....

Lemon Squares



  • For The Crust

    • Non-stick cooking spray
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
    • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sifting
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • For The Lemon Filling

    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; line pan with two crisscrossed rectangles of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse flour with confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into bottom and 3/4 inch up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
  3. Bake until crust is lightly browned 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile, make the lemon filling: In a bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thick. Beat in granulated sugar, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour over warm crust. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate about 1 hour.
  5. Using paper overhang as an aid, lift square from pan. Sift remaining tablespoon confectioners' sugar over the top. Cut into 16 squares.

Our cooking class today looked something like this:
We sprayed our pan and lined it with parchment.
T.Rube gets started on the crust by adding the flour to the food processor.
She eyes up the icing sugar and adds the butter before turning the processor on.
T.Rube pats down the crust into the pan before putting it into the oven.
The crust comes out of the oven looking nicely browned.
Now, for the lemon filling...
The squares came out of the oven looking awesome! We both wanted to eat these up immediately, but allowed for the cooling down and refrigeration process that this recipe calls for.....
Uhhhh-ohhhhh.... something is not quite right. Not quite right at all.
After removing the squares from the safe confinement of the pan......
Awww...okay, so it's not the happy smiley chef picture that we were hoping for. You know, the one with her holding her perfect Lemon Squares.  I thought they tasted pretty damn good, but T.Rube didn't even much like them.  Not sure what went wrong....  but, clearly, T.Rube will need a better teacher in the kitchen than she has right now.


Thelma said...

awwww, lil T! I bet that the first Lemon Squares Julia Childs made weren't perfect either.

another beautiful post, J...your site is eye candy (lemon squares?).

Yd said...

I'm sure they taste great!!!!! Great job on your first go, Tessa!!!!

Alissa said...

LOL! She looks so disappointed!! Poor little T.Rube! Looks don't matter T.Rube. As long as it still tasted good it's a success!

Renee said...

Oh, I hope she wasn't too disappointed! I love the pic of her looking at the measuring cup. What a sweetheart. I'll bet they tasted YUMMY!

Anonymous said...

Well done T-Rube!!! Its about the process and experience honey. All you need is a "do-over". And I am certain they tasted better than they looked.

Love Sue

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