Cakes, Puddings & Pies

Lemon Meringue Squares

lemon meringue squares

Is there anyone who doesn’t like a lemon flavoured baked good?

Whilst lemon flavoured items can be consumed in cooler months, there is something about summer and lemons that go together. That zingy fresh flavour that promotes images of sun-drenched mediterranean lemon groves.

P1000658a

Or is that just me?

If you are one of those lucky people who has a lemon tree in their garden and has ended up with a glut of lemons that you just don’t know what to do with, may I suggest these little squares?

Similarly, if you got carried away with making lemon curd and having given a jar to all your friends, neighbours and even the postman, you still have twenty bazillion jars left, may I suggest these little squares? Okay, you don’t use anything near a whole jar of lemon curd in the recipe, but you do use some. And some is better than none, right? Especially when you are thinking you are going to have to start bathing in the stuff.

Besides using lemons, one of the other great things about this recipe is that you can freeze it at two different stages, meaning that should you need to, you can get ahead of yourself and look ultra prepared and organised. It also means that you can squirrel them away for days when the sun isn’t shining and you need reminding that it sometimes does.

P1000659a

Print version

Lemon Meringue Squares

Makes 16 squares.

Ingredients:

Polenta Shortbread Base:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 140g polentaΒ  (fine cornmeal)
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 70g ground hazelnuts
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 40g chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sponge Layer:

  • 2 eggs
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 140g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g polenta (fine cornmeal)
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon oil
  • 140g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Decoration:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 small meringue, crushed into small pieces

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 celsius / 350 farenheit. Line and grease a 9″ x 9″ square baking tin.
  2. To make the polenta shortbread base – toast the chopped almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute or so. Keep an eye on them as they will burn quickly.
  3. Put all the ingredients, including the toasted chopped almonds, in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held electric mixer) and beat until it forms a soft but fairly grainy dough.
  4. Press the dough into baking tin with your hands, making sure it is evenly spread.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm and golden.
  6. Allow to cool completely in the tin. *the base can be frozen at this point, if you wish*
  7. Once the base has completely cooled, make the sponge layer – place the eggs, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, polenta and 1 tbsp of lemon curd into a bowl.
  8. In a separate bowl mix the lemon juice, zest and oil with the melted butter. Then add to the rest of the ingredients. Beat the mixture until it is smooth.
  9. Spread the remaining 3 tbsp of lemon curd over the shortbread base, then spoon the sponge mixture on top, spreading evenly whilst taking care not to disturb the layer of lemon curd.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes until it is golden and springs back to the touch.
  11. Allow to cool completely in the tin. *the cake can be frozen at this point, if you wish*
  12. To decorate, mix the lemon juice with the icing sugar until it forms a thick paste. If it is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. If it is too runny, add a little more sugar. With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cake in a haphazard, zig-zag motion. Sprinkle the crushed pieces of meringue over the top, making sure that they stick to the glaze, otherwise they will fall off.
  13. Leave for approximately half an hour for the glaze to set, then cut into squares.

Adapted from Honeybuns ‘snowy hills’ recipe.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Lemon Meringue Squares”

    1. I’m pleased you liked it! You’re right, lemon and polenta do go together really well – Nigella’s lemon polenta cake is another good example of the combination. Yummy πŸ™‚ x

      Like

Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s