A few days before Christmas, the Dumbplumber and I were driving around the 'big city' that is closest to us in the Sacramento Valley below our home in our Mountainous Valley Paradise. We were there to do our last minute shopping. Because of the difference in elevation (3400 ft where we are and about 400 ft in the valley) it always feels like we have migrated into another climate, spring like instead of snow and ice....even in December.
On the AM radio, there is a Swap and Sell channel. Very cool. People can call in and describe items they want to buy, items they want to sell, stuff they are giving away for free. One guy was giving away a piano because he was moving. Suddenly, my ears prick up. A quavery little old lady voice says she has fresh lemons from her tree at 50 cents a dozen. 50 CENTS A DOZEN. Just come by her place and take some, put money in the tip jar.
"Did you hear THAT!!" I say. "Do you know where Shady Lane is? OMG we have to get some lemons!!"
"Why can't you buy lemons in the store?" replies The Dumbplumber grumpily, because he is on a man's Christmas shopping mission. Get the stuff and get the hell out of town.
"Yes. BUT...at 50 cents EACH. Not 50 cents a dozen." Says I.
Soooooo....we go get lemons. I was now on a mission too. And surprise surprise, they are Meyer Lemons. You would think that I had found gold nuggets.
So....when life gives you lemons and not just any old lemons.....COOK....make
Buttery Lemon Squares, Lemon Curd, Lemon Creme Brulee Tart, Candied Lemon Zests.
BUTTERY LEMON SQUARES
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp baking powder
Make Crust: Cream butter and powdered sugar. Add in 2 cups of flour (reserve the other 1/3 xup) and beat until blended. A food processor works well for this. Pulse on and off to process. Spread and pat firmly into a greased 9 x 13 metal pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until starting to brown at the edges. You are basically making a shortbread crust.
Filling: Meanwhile beat eggs until light. Gradually add the sugar. Beat until thick. Add zest, juice, remaining 1/3 cup flour and baking powder and blend. Pour over baked crust. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes until golden on top.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Should equal about 20 squares.