4.10.2013

Lighthouse Lemon Squares





You know how I go on and on about Arizona citrus?  I'm going to continue.  My sister (bless her heart) sent an absolute car load of Arizona oranges, grapefruit and lemons to her favorite sister (me) in Utah.

The grapefruits were from a HUGE grapefruit tree in her yard.  Best grapefruit we have ever eaten.   I'm still peeling and eating oranges a few times throughout the day.  I especially love the bags of lemons that she sent.  They were picked from the lemon tree of a friend (my new bf).  I actually go through a lot of lemons.  I squeeze lemon juice over all of my greens.  I was thinking about squeezing and freezing the juice from the remaining lemons and then freezing the juice, but I really wanted a lemon dessert.  I began to search my binder of recipes.  I came upon this recipe that was given to me years ago, but rarely make because I eat too much of it. I have no idea where the recipe came from.  I'm pretty sure it is one of those Relief Society recipes that was handed out after a gathering.  I came home and filed it away in my not-so-tidy binder.

 It's not a spectacular dessert that looks too beautiful to cut.  It's easy.  It has a bright fresh flavor.



You will need:

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese softened

Topping:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar




Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with a non-stick spray.  Set aside.




Chop nuts.  I like the nuts a bit coarse, but you can finely chop them if you want.




In the bowl of an electric mixer add the flour and powdered sugar.




Add butter.




Chopped pecans.




Mix until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly, but holds together when pressed.






Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan.




Firmly press the mixture.




Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 16-20 minutes.




The crust is done when the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Set the crust aside to cool completely.




Juice and zest 2 lemons.  You will need 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest.  Set aside.



In a medium size sauce pan combine the sugar and cornstarch.




Mix together.




Add the water.




Whisk or stir until smooth.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.




The mixture will become very thick.  Remove from the heat.




Stir in the lemon juice.




and the lemon zest.




Stir together and set aside.




Beat the cream cheese.




While mixing, slowly add the lemon mixture into the cream cheese.




Beat until there are no cream cheese lumps.




The mixture will be kind of thin.  Let cool for 30 minutes.




Pour over the cooled crust.




Spread evenly over the crust.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to cool and set.




For the topping, you will need 1 1/2 cups whipping cream and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar.




Add the powdered sugar to the whipping cream.





Beat until thick and a soft peak forms.




Spread over top of the cooled filling.




Spread evenly.




Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.




I hope your sister's friend has a lemon tree.


Lighthouse Lemon Squares

Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese softened

Topping:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl combine flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, pecans and butter, mix well.  Press dough evenly in pan.  Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch.  Gradually stir in water, blend until smooth.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly stir in hot filling mixture until well blended.  Cool 30 minutes.  Spoon filling over cooled crust and spread evenly.  Cover; refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled.

In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.  Spoon onto lemon filling; spread evenly.  Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night.


Print this recipe

14 comments:

  1. Good Morning Janet, Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. I do not have a sister who has a lemon tree, but when we lived on the Island of Cyprus we had a couple of lemon trees growing in the garden, and the taste of lemons picked from a tree and used straight away is far superior to the lemons I can buy in the shops. Oh, I do miss just walking into the garden and picking a lemon.
    I have printed the recipe to use when my mother visits as I know she will love it.
    Enjoy your day,
    Best Wishes
    Daphne

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    1. I loved reading your comment, Daphne. Cyprus definitely wins! I'll take Cyprus over AZ any day. How amazing would that be to have a lemon trees in your garden. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  2. I love, love, LOVE lemon desserts! But, sadly, we´re not yet in season!! Pecans are also at it´s best in june/ july, so I will keep saving recipes until mid winter.
    And then I guess that I'll fast until october, or I will not fit in my swimsuit ;)

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    1. Love your comment, Danhiskka. I forget that it isn't spring time all over the world. I gave up on swimsuit season years ago :) I try to run off all the food I eat, but alas, age has crept up on my sagging body. thanks for commenting.

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    2. I always wanted to know in which season do you get the best citrus. I read in several places that you get citrus from sunny and warm places.
      We harvest my mom's trees around mid winter, after a few frosts. And the colder the weather, the sweeter the fruit!

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    3. I know in Arizona the orange trees blossom in March/April and the Oranges start to come on close to Christmas, but are best in Jan/Feb. It is a very hot place int he summer. Very interesting. where are your mother's trees?

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    4. In her back yard!!
      She has lemons, mandarins, oranges, plums, one really old seville orange tree and a quince (one more month and the fruit will be ripe!!). The mandarin trees are the most tricky ones: two years ago the two of them combined produced only 10 pounds, last year we harvest 50 pounds from each one. The neigbours were sooo happy :)

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    5. Sounds like a bit of heaven. I'm so envious. What part of the world to you live?

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    6. I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Do you need some humidity?? We have a lots to share...

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    7. Hahaha. I do live in a dessert. We could use some of that humidity in small amounts. I love your comments.

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  3. Thank you for this recipe Janet, we have a lemon tree in our yard, my freezer is full of lemon juice, so I love this kind of recipes. This looks so different from all recipes I gathered with lemon juice and so delicious, and I'm going to make this for sure.

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    1. You are so lucky to have a lemon tree. I'm jealous. thanks for commenting.

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  4. So glad I remembered to check out your blog! I desperately needed something springy to bring to baby shower this weekend. The momma-to-be loves lemon too :) Thanks so much!

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    1. And to think that I hesitated to post this recipe. I'm glad my daughter changed my mind. I hope everyone enjoys the dessert at the baby shower.

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