Monday, July 29, 2013

Lemon squares!

Last Saturday I went to the international food fair of my city and it was pretty cool. I sampled foods from all over the globe and was introduced to many new products that are about to hit the markets.


 Oikos was there....

  American barbecue with pulled pork sandwiches was a huge success.


 And even a maple cotton candy tent!!!
For lunch I had a delicious vegetarian empanada from Chile, made with artichokes, heart of palm and cheese that was absolutely fantastic but pretty small. I was still hungry, so I had a vegetarian fajita from Mexico, made with “nopales”, which is a kind of bottled cactus. The “nopales” were grilled with Mexican cheese and served in a corn tortilla with guacamole. Yum yum! In fact it was so yummy that I ordered a second one!

Their guacamole was also incredibly good. Very similar actually to the one I learned from my Mexican friend and that is super simple to make.

Mexican guacamole
Just smash 1 or 2 avocados with a fork. Add lime juice (about ½ a lime to 1 lime), salt to taste, a drizzle of olive oil, finely diced tomatoes, finely diced onions and a hand full of finely chopped cilantro. It’s very nutritious and it goes great with any kind of tacos, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, tostitos and even chips.

And for desset I had a refreshing passion fruit gelato!
 Many new products were debuting at the fair, from duck foie gras to different kinds of wine and cider. But I was especially interested in a new product called apple syrup from Les produits Pierre-Henri. It’s basically a syrup like maple syrup but entirely made of apples. It tastes really sweet but I was told there is no sugar added and all the sweetness comes from the apples. Imagine that on chicken, on pancakes, on yogurt, ice cream, salad dressing, potatoes, etc…. Can’t wait to see this one out there!

Nothing like good tv after a long day outdoors, and Saturday night was all about one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, “the king of queens”. I watched an episode from the 3rd season that is about Doug’s parents meeting him at the airport during a layover and trying to convince him to sign some important papers but all he really wants are his mom’s lemon squares. I instantly thought: “Now I need lemon squares too” and the next day I woke up early to make them.

I made this yummy recipe from Martha Stewart. I really like Martha’s recipes, they are really good and usually easy to prepare. If you’re also craving lemon squares now, here is how you make them:


For the dough

½ cup butter (soft)

½ cup icing sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 cup flour

For the cream

4 egg yolks

1 can condensed milk

¾ cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)


Using a stand mixer, beat butter and icing sugar until well combined. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated.

Transfer dough to a 8 inch square pan lined with parchment paper with two wings hanging out to facilitate removing the tart from the pan once baked and cooled.

Press dough down with your fingers and prick it all over with a fork.

Bake dough for 20 minutes in a 350 F oven.

In a bowl, mix well all the ingredients for the cream.

Pour the mixture over dough and bake for another 30 minutes.

Let it cool down completely before cutting the 16 squares. Then leave it in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.

*I didn’t have 4 egg yolks, so I decided to experiment with 2 yolks and 1 whole egg. It worked fine, the result was the same, but it took me longer to bake. Instead of 30 minutes I baked it for 45 minutes and left it in the oven for 10 minutes more with the heat completely off. 

**I also used cold butter for this recipe and it worked just fine. The dough resembled coarse meal and I just pressed down a little and baked it like that.