Strawberry and Lemon Squares recipe
Being furloughed from my real job has brought about a few challenges. Financial ones being the main with lack of purpose and missing my colleagues running along behind. I’m filling my time keeping George at his desk for more than 20 minutes a day and being the housewife I’ve never been. These Strawberry and Lemon Squares are born from my hatred of waste food, my love of a strawberry and lemon combo and to fulfil my new stay-at-home Mum role. So they’re really rather satisfying, in more ways than one.
The original recipe from The View from Great Island billed these as a blondie. I think it’s much more of a soft, zesty cake style bake. They’re super easy, tart and fruity and really very pretty. Cut it into generous squares and they’ll be wolfed down. If your strawberries are a bit past their best, don’t worry, these squares are a fab way to use up any soggy ones and it will save them from the bin. The rest of the ingredients I always have on hand, so this bake really was something out of nothing.
Simple pleasures are huge under the current circumstances. This bake gave me a bit of purpose for an hour or so and eating it kept me busy for a little bit longer.
Slightly past it strawberries and some leathery lemons, nothing goes to waste in our house. I didn’t have any butter left in the fridge so used Stork and it worked just perfectly.
Make a start by lining your 9 inch square or 10 x 8 inch tin and pre heat your oven to 160 degrees fan assisted. Next, cream your butter/Stork and caster sugar until lighter in colour and texture. You can use your stand mixer for this or a bowl with a hand whisk or wooden spoon.
Next add the egg and the zest of a lemon and beat again.
Whisk in the lemon juice. Don’t panic if it looks curdled, it will be fine once you add the flour.
Weigh and mix the flour, baking powder and salt then fold this into the creamed mixture to form a stiff-ish batter.
Roughly chop your strawberries and then fold them through the batter.
Scrape the batter into your lined/buttered tin and level the top.
Pop this into the pre-heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The squares will be ready when they’re golden, firm and a skewer comes out clean when poked in the middle.
Leave this summertime special to cool while you make the glaze.
Weigh the icing sugar then mix with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Now you can either puree 3 to 4 strawberries then strain to remove the seeds or, in my usual lazy fashion, I just pressed them through a tea strainer. Use the puree to create a pale pink icing with a good drizzling consistency. Use a little more lemon juice too, if needed.
Drizzle this onto your cooled bake, leave to set a little, if you can bear to, then cut into generous squares and devour.
This bake is so summery it may just take your mind off the ghastly weather this week.
Strawberry and Lemon Squares recipe
Makes between 16 to 20 squares, dependent on how you cut them
You will need a stand mixer or a bowl and wooden spoon and a 9 inch square or 10 x 8 inch brownie tin
225g soft butter or Stork
165g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
50ml lemon juice, this is about 1 and a half lemons
300g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g strawberries, chopped
100g icing sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 to 4 strawberries pushed through a sieve or tea strainer or pureed then strained to remove seeds
Pre heat your oven to 160 degrees fan assisted and line or butter a 9 inch square or 10 x 8 inch brownie tin.
In your stand mixer or bowl with hand whisk or spoon, beat together the soft butter or Stork with the caster sugar until lighter in colour and texture. Add the egg and the zest of the lemon and mix again until combined. Pour in the lemon juice and beat. Don’t panic if the mixture looks curdled, it’s fine.
Weigh the flour, baking powder and salt and mix. Add to the butter mixture and fold in until you have a fairly stiff batter. Cut the stalks off your strawberries then cut into quarters. Gently fold these into the mixture.
Scrape the mixture into your lined or buttered tin and level the surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The bake is ready when it’s golden, firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean when poked in the middle. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the bake cools make the glaze. Measure the icing sugar into a bowl and pour in a tablespoon of lemon juice. Press 3 to 4 strawberries (mine were small) through a sieve or tea strainer to puree and add as much as you need to the icing sugar to create a thin-ish glaze. Add more lemon juice too if needed.
Once the bake is cool, drizzle on the glaze and allow to set before cutting into generous squares. Devour.
These will keep for 2 to 3 days, well wrapped, in an airtight tin.