Saturday, 25 April 2015

LOTW Lodge Lemon Squares

My mother will be the first to admit that my love of cooking and baking did not develop under her tutelage, but largely in the kitchens of two different fishing lodge owners, Ruth and Jenny. During university I spent two summer's working as a cabin cleaner/server/cook on Lake of the Woods and Pipestone Lake in the wilds of Northwestern Ontario. It was there that I really developed my love of cooking from scratch, and became addicted to the wonderful feeling that results when you feed hungry people hand made meals. 

As with many of my most treasured recipes, this one comes from the weekly rotation of items we'd make for the fishermen. I can't say where this recipe came from originally (comment please if you recognize it), but Ruth provided it to me when I left Lake of the Woods Lodge in the fall of 2004. For a period of time I actually lost the recipe and tried out a few different variations floating around, but none compared to the intense lemon flavour and perfect ratio of crust to curd that this one produces.

You know a recipe is good when it's requested by someone each time you bring it to a shower or celebration. Lindsay - I'm writing this post largely so I can refer you to this link when you semiannually ask for the recipe. I don't normally buy organic, but apparently when using the rind of a fruit, it's wise to buy organic to avoid the pesticides in the rind. For this I bought organic lemons. To each his own, as it could just be one of those internet urban legends that is not backed up by science in any way. I would recommend good, fresh eggs though, as they make up a large part of the square. 

LOTW Lodge Lemon Squares
makes one 9x13 pan (12 large or 20 medium squares)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup butter, melted

4 eggs, well beaten
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons grated lemon rind (approx. rind of two lemons)
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx. juice of two lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note: I only used two lemons

For the crust: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sift the flour and icing sugar into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Melt butter in microwave, pour into pan and combine well with flour and  icing sugar. Use hands to pat down evenly, forming a curst in the bottom of the pan.

Bake crust about 20 minutes at 300 degrees until firm. Remove from oven, increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Beat eggs in a large bowl, add in sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, baking powder, salt, lemon rind, juice and vanilla, whisk together and pour over crust. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until top is brown and filling is no longer liquid in the centre.  

Cool in fridge before sprinkling with powdered sugar and cutting into squares. 

I usually cut around the border of the pan first to remove the edges, ensuring each piece is pretty (not something we did for the fishermen). Added bonus - those edge scraps taste like candy.


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