Lemon Squares

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

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I have shared many desserts in my cookbooks and TV series, delighted to share one of my most requested desserts. 

This is the quintessential dessert, although it is also a popular dessert during the summer season. I have been told my recipe is the perfect balance of sweetness, lemony tartness and buttery shortbread. Make a batch and share this refreshing treat at your next gathering.

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Lemon Squares (aka Lemon Bars) depends on how you cut them

Makes 1 dozen, eight inch square pan

George Hirsch Recipe | chefgeorgehirsch.com

Short Bread Crust:

1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature 

1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

pinch cinnamon

A square tip: (lining pan with parchment paper is helpful for removing squares after baking)

Grease an 8 inch square pan with butter, line with parchment

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

For the Crust: With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. By hand mix flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon forming a light dough. Press dough into greased pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes, should be light brown. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Lemon Filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

2 eggs

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 

1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest 

2 Tablespoon all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch salt

For the Lemon Filling: Mix with a wire whisk the sugar, flour, salt, and eggs until dissolved. Add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla just until combined. Do not over mix or too much air will affect filling. Pour the filling over the cooled shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the filling is set. 

Remove from oven and cool. After cooling at room temperature, refrigerate. To serve, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Chill lemon squares until ready to serve.

Got Shrub?

What is Shrub? The word Shrub comes from the Arabic word sharab, which literally means to drink. In the dictionary, Shrub is defined as an acid fruit drink.

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + 

Tune-in GHL CreateTV Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM, Sun 8:30AM est

Good Stuff Pick: Fruit shrubs are based on Colonial era recipes and are drink concentrates made with fresh fruit vinegars, organic unbleached cane sugar and spices. They can be mixed with sparkling water (1 part Shrub to 8 parts water) to make festive non-alcoholic drinks, also to flavor wine and champagne. Just as refreshing to serve for a brunch or a festive backyard BBQ, like my Fresh Squeezed Mimosa.

Today's refreshing beverage is perfect for a steamy hot day, like today. Cheers!

Agua Fresca Recipe.jpg

George's Berry Shrub Fiz

Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1/3 cup fresh lime juice + 1 lime sliced thin

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups de-seeded watermelon + 1 cup of melon balls for garnish

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar, variable depending on how sweet the berries are & how tart/ sweet you like it.

1/2 cup ice, shaved or cubes 

1/4 cup seltzer per glass + sprig of fresh mint

In a blender, blend the lime juice, watermelon, berries with juice, sugar, ice cubes until slushy. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice; pour 3/4 of a glass with fruit juice and top off with seltzer.

*To Spike: You can add 1/2 ounce of vodka, Or rum, Or tequila to each glass over the ice.

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Sour Cream Apple Pancakes

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + 

Tune-in GHL CreateTV Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM, Sun 8:30AM est

A great idea to surprise DAD this Fathers Day with Sour Cream Apple Pancakes!

So enjoyed my time with Msgr. Jim, host of Telecare's Real Food chatting up my features from GHL and all my creative friends! Enjoy my apple pancake recipe inspired from fresh picking..

Msgr Jim Vlaun, George Hirsch on GHL set for Telecare's Real Food, image Alex Goetzfried

Breakfast? Brunch? Easy Dinner? or Dessert? ans. all 4

Pancakes are one of the earliest forms of bread and are served up geographically in different ways. Be all traditional with baking powder, or try prospecting with sourdough pancakes like the early pioneers. Flip ‘em with oatmeal or buckwheat when in Vermont; or for a Dutch Style treat serve with lemon, powdered sugar and jam.

Apple Picking Pancake.png

from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series, apple picking Halsey Farm

Sour Cream Apple Pancakes 

Makes eight pancakes | chefgeorgehirsch.com

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon pure cane sugar

3/4 cup milk, variable

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, beaten

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

*1 cup mixed sour sweet apples, peeled cored, and chopped

Additional butter to grease griddle

In a large bowl, mix together well with a whisk all dry ingredients the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients the sour cream milk, vanilla, egg and melted butter. Yes, use two bowls so the dry and wet ingredients blend better when combined. Add the wet to the dry and just strip with a large spoon or spatula until the dry ingredients have absorbed the wet. There may still be a few lumps, hats OK. Do not over mix, or pancakes will become tough.

Pre heat a non stick pan or lightly grease a griddle over medium high heat at 375 degrees F. Test the temperature by dropping a drop of water on surface of pan. Water will dance across the surface when at the correct temperature. You can test one cake before proceeding.

Check consistency of batter with a sample test pancake, if too think adjust with a few drops of milk. Pour one 1/4 cup scoop of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Add apples at this time. You will begin to see bubbles form on the top side when brown on bottom, flip and brown on second side. Serve hot with syrup or favorite topping eaten immediately right off the griddle.

Finish off your stack with honey, molasses, can syrup, Nutella, or Maple Syrup.  Top with toasted nuts and powder sugar. If serving apple pancakes for dessert sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon sugar on top of sliced apples prior to flipping. 

Note: After peeling apples maybe chopped or sliced thin depending on your own preference and taste. Chopped apples can be added to the batter or placed on top of raw side of pancake while on the griddle. Sliced apples should nay be arranged on raw side of pancake while on griddle before flipping. And If making batter ahead the night before, add apples just before cooking. 

Tip: When using double acting baking powder (the most common available today) prepare my batter the night before, cover bowl and refrigerate. This not only saves time but more importantly allows the gluten to relax from mixing the batter, which makes for a more tender pancake. When you are ready to cook pancakes just gently stir the batter, do not mix too much or they will be tough. 

Test Your Baking PowderHow old is your baking powder? 

Replace baking powder every 6-12 months after opening. The exact amount of time is determined by how much moisture gets into your container of baking powder. Do you immediately recover the cap; as you should, or do you leave the top off and cover it later when cleaning up? Store in a cool dry place. 

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