Meyer Lemon Quads

You can use other sorts of lemons for this, but you might need extra sugar on the topping at the end. Meyer lemons are big, soft-skinned, and sweeter than most lemons. I heard one theory that they are an orange hybrid.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

For the crust (after Maida Heatter):

In a food processor with metal blade, cream
   1/2 pound unsalted butter
Add and cream with butter
   1/2 cup light brown sugar
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
   1 Tablespoon limoncello (lemon liqueur) [optional].
   1/2-1 cup almonds.
Process until almond pieces are smaller than pea-sized.
   2 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
Process just until flour is thoroughly incorporated. Mixture should hold its shape; add more flour and process if necessary.

Line a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with parchment, spreading margarine on the sides to make it stick. Spread the filling dough evenly over the bottom of the dish, it should be about 1/4 inch thick. (Any extra can be used to make separate cookies).

Place in the preheated oven, lower level, and bake for 25 minutes, or until brown around the edges. Rotate at half time to ensure even baking.

For the filling (after Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies):

In the food processor bowl, combine
   1 cup sugar
   3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) unbleached flour.
Add and process
   6 eggs.
Grate zest and juice lemons until you have about
   1 cup strained lemon juice.
(This will require four to six lemons, depending on size, counting the ones you grated for the crust).
Add juice and zest and
   1 Tablespoon limoncello [optional]
to the processor bowl and combine.

The final baking:

When the crust is ready, pour the filling onto the crust without removing it entirely from the oven. Sprinkle over the top of the filling
   1/2 to 1 cup superfine sugar
(Amount depends on your taste and the sourness of the lemon mixture).

Reduce heat to 325 degrees F.
Bake for 25--30 minutes, until the top has set and will hold its place when you tilt it from side to side.

Allow to cool.
To unmold, have a cutting board and a pastry board ready. Place the pastry board on top of the dish and invert quickly. Release the parchment from the baking dish so the slab settles on the board. Remove the parchment from the crust. Place the cutting board over the crust and invert the assembly again, holding both the pastry board and the cutting board together. Remove the pastry board. You should now have the cookies right side up on the cutting board.

Cut into 6 by 8 (or 8 by 8 for smaller ones). Makes 48 large or 64 small.

© 2003 Richard Waldinger