Today, on this gloomy Friday, I break my two-year-and-one-day hiatus. Hello again, Tumblr.
The ten-hour workday along with the four-hour commute haven’t exactly provided me with the time nor interest to pursue any weekday recreation. Until last Sunday night, while savoring my last piece of lemon square, when I had the idea to try my hand at making… MORE LEMON SQUARES.
Thus begins this tasty pursuit to add some zing to unproductive work nights by perfecting my own lemon squares. This series is a bite-size account of my progress.
Episode 1: Lemon (Semi) Squares
Recipe from Betty Crocker
- Produced more than twenty pieces under P180. Discovered that I can make powdered sugar at home with just granulated sugar, cornstarch, and a blender. It was a lot of fun too.
- Half a lemon (two and a half tablespoons of lemon juice) is enough to produce my kind of tanginess.
- I’ve tried baking from scratch only a handful of times so I just kept mixing in the ingredients all at the same time haha. Note to self: Video recipes are good references too.
- There were pocket holes in my crust because I didn’t press the shortbread mixture well onto the pan.
- Don’t forget to grease the pan.
- My lemon curd need not be fluffy. Don’t wait too long for the mixture to stiffen.
- Zest the lemons first before juicing.
- Other recipes do not require baking soda for the filling. I probably put a pinch too much in mine, that’s why the upper crust baked too quickly and left the inside a bit undercooked. Just my theory though!
- Another theory for the undercooked filling might be because I turned off the oven after the first layer was done, in fear of an accidental explosion. Hahaha. That was just me being paranoid. The recipe did say to keep it at 180 °C (350 °F). Note to self: The oven will not explode.
- Finally, after cooling for two hours, put it in the fridge for another hour. It’s easier to cut them into perfect squares that way.
For my first attempt, I’m giving this batch 4m’s (that is, mmmm!). I had only a couple of people try them out, worried I’d poison them with the undercooked filling. It did get positive feedback from those brave enough to try them.
I’ve always loved Mary Grace’s lemon bars until I realized I wanted mine tangier. But the next goal is to make them as soft and yellowy as hers.
Working from 11pm ‘til 1am and waking up before 5 (to finally dust them with sugary snow) was surprisingly satisfying. Now they’re all gone, my lemon (semi) squares.