Normally, I wait for warmer temps to eat lemon squares.  Waiting just seems like the right thing to do.  But truth be told, I am just crazy about all things lemon.  And on this particularly dreary Monday, something bright and sunny is just what what I need.  So to the kitchen, ladies!  We’ve got some lemon basil squares to bake!

I guess I have my mom to thank for introducing me to the wonders of tart and tangy lemon desserts when I was younger.  They were hands down her favorite.  And in a house full of chocolate loving boys, I secretly enjoyed sharing with her something that just ‘us girls’ liked best.  Like a secret handshake topped with a nod and a wink, ‘us girls’ would make sure lemon squares found their way onto almost every holiday dessert list and ultimately onto our plates and into our bellies. It was lemon heaven.

Now, I get to share lemon desserts with my own daughter.  She loves this updated version of the classic creamy lemon square recipe handed down from my mom and grandmother that incorporates just a hint of basil.  After all, lemon and basil are a perfect pairing, right?

And just like with any perfect pair, secret handshakes, winks, and nods are included.


Lemon Basil Squares

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest

Filling

  • 1/4 C flour
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 C lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped basil
  • confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest, and extra basil leaves to garnish

Process:

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

Crust

Butter the bottom and sides of 9×9 baking pan.

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, butter, and lemon zest.  Pulse or mix until the mixture is crumbly and resembles wet sand.

Put the mixture in the 9×9 pan and press it evenly around the pan to create a crust.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until it is golden brown and firm.

Filling

While the crust is baking, whisk together in a medium bowl the flour, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and basil.  Make sure you whisk constantly while adding the lemon juice.  Its acid will “cook” the eggs if you are not careful.

Pour over the baked crust.  Use a fork to make sure the basil is evenly distributed over the crust.

Bake again for another 20-30 minutes until the filling is set.

Filling will continue to set as the dessert cools to room temperature.  Sometimes, I even refrigerate it for an hour or two just to make sure it is nice and firm before I cut into it.

Dust generously with confectioner’s sugar and cut dessert into squares.

Garnish with lemon zest and basil leaves to make your squares oh, so pretty!

***Pin this Lemon Basil Squares recipe here!***

Lemon Basil Squares- an updated version of the classic creamy lemon square recipe that incorporates just a hint of basil.

 

Lemon Basil Squares
Yields 1
A fresh take on a traditional favorite, lemon basil squares have that tart sweetness you crave from your grandmother's lemon squares plus a bright hint of basil that just sings spring!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Crust
  1. 1 1/4 C flour
  2. 1/4 C sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp. salt
  4. 1 1/2 sticks butter
  5. 1 Tbsp lemon zest
Filling
  1. 1/4 C flour
  2. 3/4 sugar
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 1/3 C lemon juice
  5. 2-3 Tbsp finely chopped basil
  6. confectioner's sugar, lemon zest, and extra basil leaves to top
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
Crust
  1. Butter the bottom and sides of 9x9 baking pan.
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, butter, and lemon zest. Pulse or mix until the mixture is crumbly and resembles wet sand.
  3. Put the mixture in the 9x9 pan and press it evenly around the pan to create a crust.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until it is golden brown and firm.
Filling
  1. While the crust is baking, whisk together in a medium bowl the flour, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and basil.
  2. Pour over the baked crust. Use a fork to make sure the basil is evenly distributed over the crust.
  3. Bake again for another 20-30 minutes until the filling is just set.
  4. Filling will continue to set as the dessert cools to room temperature.
  5. Dust generously with confectioner's sugar and cut dessert into squares.
  6. Garnish with lemon zest and basil leaves, if desired.
Notes
  1. Make sure you whisk constantly while adding the lemon juice. Its acid will "cook" the eggs if you are not careful.
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Check out these lemon squares and other great recipes on Full Plate Thursday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday and Meal Plan Monday!