Cranberry & Lemon Squares

I love cranberries! I remember years ago my Mom and I took a trip to Nantucket during harvest season and saw the bogs and ate everything cranberry. We even grabbed a few from the bog and ate them.  Not only are they delicious they’re good for you!

For Thanksgiving (in addition to the Caprese Platter,  Potato Bites and Kalamata olive crostini) I brought this as a dessert. Wow-what a taste!! Slightly tart from the cranberry and lemon, slightly sweet from the sugar-but just right all around. I added a bit more cranberries and lemon zest than the original recipe from http://www.southernpinklemonade.com/.

I didn’t take a photo of the dish. It was late on Thanksgiving and it looked so good that I totally forgot all about the photo. But let me explain: they’re nice squares with crust on the bottom, a layer of cranberries and then crust dotted on top.

Cranberry & Lemon Squares

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 8 ozs (2 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp-1/4 cup very cold water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 12-14 oz package frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • juice and zest of one lemon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper (i put little pieces of tape on all 4 sides to keep it in place-but don’t forget to remove them before you put it in the oven!!) leaving a bit of an overhang to grab and remove the contents out of the pan after baking.

In the bowl of a food processor add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until dough is crumbled into small pieces.

Move the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Add water 1 tbsp at a time until dough comes together.

Press half of the dough into the bottom of the baking dish.   Keep the remainder handy to use for the topping.

In a medium bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch then add the cranberries and lemon juice and stir to coat cranberries evenly. Port the contents of the bowl evenly over the crust in the baking dish and sprinkle with the zest.

Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the cranberries.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top and sides are brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (I put the baking dish outside on a cooling rack as it was chilly and it cooled quickly). Once cooled lift the entire contents out of the dish using the parchment paper ends, cut into squares and serve.

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