Blood Orange Squares
This is considered a Sicilian version of classic lemon squares. You can find blood oranges in the market in the late fall months. The blood orange lends a beautiful orange-pink color to the curd, and the lime juice tempers the tartness of the orange. I prefer using limes here instead of lemons because they have a mellow edge and blend more harmoniously with the blood oranges. Though these squares are not quite as sturdy as pound cakes and brownies, you can still cut them into pieces and move them around without much trouble. A handy pack is to bring a little confectioners’ sugar with you to sprinkle on before serving. It’ll cover up any little nicks or scratches, and it makes a handsome presentation. If you don’t have one of those metal sugar shakers for transport, you can pack the sugar in a salt shaker. Just make sure to cover the holes with a piece of tape for the journey.
Makes20 (2-by-2-inch) squares, enough for 10 to 20 servings
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturebuttery, fruity, sweet, tart
Type of Dishcookie, dessert
- 12 tablespoons (1% sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (6 ounces, 170 grams)
- 1½ cups all purpose flour (6.75 ounces, 195 grams)
- ½ cup confectioners sugar (2 ounces, 57 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.25 grams)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar (10.5 ounces, 300 grams)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (.56 ounce, 16.25 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (2.45 grams)
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- Finely grated zest of 1 blood orange
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs (6.8 ounces, 193 grams), at room temperature
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 to 3 limes) (2.9 ounces, 83.3 grams)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (8 ounces, 225 grams)
- Food Processor
- 9-by-13-inch baking pan
For the Crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse together all the ingredients for the shortbread until the mixture just begins to hold together in large pieces. Turn the dough out into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and press it into a single layer covering the bottom of the pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake on the center rack, rotating the pan halfway through, until golden and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.
For the Filling:
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, citrus zests, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and citrus juices. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients in two additions, whisking until smooth. Spread the filling over the baked shortbread.
Bake on the center rack until it is just set, about 15 minutes. Cool in the pan, then cut into squares.
2010 Bill Yosses