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May 03, 2021
Citrus is one of the 5 "Cs" of the early Arizona economy (copper, cattle, cotton, and climate are the other 4). While the economy has changed over time in Arizona, the 5 "C" still hold a lot of cultural significance. When spring is in the air here in Arizona, it means the end of citrus season and bags of lemons, oranges and grapefruit are traded in office breakrooms and between neighbors. The lemon tree in my backyard produces more lemons that I can possible squeeze myself!
I love, love, love lemon squares. With a perfectly buttery crust and a tangy, tart and subtly sweet custard, these treats are perfect with a cup of tea! To throw a new spin on this traditional treat, I like to add dollops of jam which adds a touch of sweetness and flavor. As with a lot of recipes, you want to use a high-quality jam or fruit preserve so that the flavor of the fruit shines through instead of just the added sugar. The best thing about citrus squares is that you can experiment with different citrus flavors! Here are some flavor combinations I suggest using with Amadio Ranch naturally made fruit preserves:
You can use any recipe you like but I am partial to Sally's Baking Addition Lemon Squares with shortbread crust because it does not require you to cook the custard before baking and the recipe can be easily halved for smaller batches.
I think my favorite is still classic lemon but blood oranges (also known as raspberry oranges) are currently in season. I modified the recipe to include crushed pecans in the crust and blood orange juice with the new Very Berry Preserves. My 3-year-old daughter absolutely loved it! What flavor combination would you like to try?
Thanks Rebecca P. for this fun blog and idea.