Reduced-Fat Lemon Squares
From Cook's Country
A little number crunching revealed that lemon squares’ shortbread-like crust is the main fat and calorie heavyweight. We were able to scale back the butter by two-thirds yet keep the same flavorful, tender bite by employing milk for moisture and baking powder for light texture. Our trimmed lemon topping sings lemon, thanks to a whopping 6 tablespoons of juice and 1 tablespoon of aromatic zest.
Traditional Lemon Square recipes have 330 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 11 grams of saturated fat per lemon square. Our changes brought the numbers down to 190 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat per square.
Makes 9 lemon squares
Press the crust dough snugly against the pan edges to keep the lemon topping from running beneath the crust. Cool the crust for at least 15 minutes before pouring on the lemon topping.
- 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 6 tablespoons juice (2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with aluminum foil to hang over pan edges. Spray foil lightly with vegetable oil spray.
- 2. For the crust: Process flour, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined. Add butter and milk and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press into even layer. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 16 to 20 minutes. Cool crust on wire rack for 15 minutes.
- 3. For the lemon topping: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Whisk granulated sugar, egg, egg white, flour, and salt together in bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest until combined. Pour filling over cooled crust and bake until filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Using foil overhang, lift lemon squares from pan and cut into 9 squares. Serve.
Market Report: Butter Down Almost 70 Percent
Cornstarch, baking powder, and milk work together to keep the crust tender (despite the drastic cut in butter), while lemon zest adds bright lemon flavor.
OUR REDUCED-FAT CRUST