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Cream Squares with Lemon and Coconut

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Cream squares with lemon and coconut are a delightful and refreshing treat that combines the tangy flavor of lemon with the tropical taste of coconut. These squares are perfect for any occasion, from a casual family gathering to a sophisticated dessert spread. With a buttery crust and a creamy, lemony filling topped with shredded coconut, these squares are sure to be a hit. This recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results that will impress everyone.

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Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter

For the Filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Instructions

1. Prepare the Crust:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the flour and powdered sugar.
  3. Add Butter: Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Press Crust: Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 8×8-inch baking dish.
  5. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly while preparing the filling.

2. Prepare the Filling:

  1. Beat Eggs: In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy.
  2. Add Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, granulated sugar, and salt to the beaten eggs and mix well.
  3. Add Lemon and Vanilla: Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  4. Pour Filling: Pour the lemon filling over the slightly cooled crust.

3. Add the Coconut Topping:

  1. Top with Coconut: Sprinkle the shredded coconut evenly over the lemon filling.

4. Bake and Cool:

  1. Bake: Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is set and the coconut is lightly browned.
  2. Cool: Allow the cream squares to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  3. Chill: For best results, chill the squares in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.

5. Serve:

  1. Cut and Serve: Cut into squares and serve. Optionally, dust with additional powdered sugar before serving.

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes:

  • Butter: Ensure your butter is very cold for the crust to achieve a perfect crumbly texture.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best for this recipe to ensure a vibrant, fresh flavor.
  • Coconut: Use sweetened shredded coconut if you prefer a sweeter topping, or unsweetened if you like it less sweet.

Variations:

  • Lime Substitute: Replace the lemon juice and zest with lime juice and zest for a zesty lime version.
  • Nut Crust: Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped nuts (such as almonds or pecans) to the crust mixture for added texture and flavor.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Keto and Low-Carb Version

Ingredients:

  • Crust: Use almond flour in place of all-purpose flour, and use a keto-friendly powdered sweetener.
  • Filling: Replace granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener.
  • Coconut: Ensure to use unsweetened shredded coconut.

Instructions:

  • Prepare and Cook: Follow the same steps as the original recipe, substituting the ingredients as mentioned above.

Cream squares with lemon and coconut are a delightful dessert that is both refreshing and satisfying. The buttery crust, tangy lemon filling, and sweet coconut topping create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Whether you’re looking for a quick treat to whip up for your family or a dessert to impress guests, these cream squares are a fantastic choice. The variations and keto options make it easy to adapt this recipe to fit any dietary needs. Enjoy these delectable lemon coconut cream squares!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh?
A: Fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, but bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch.

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Q: How should I store the cream squares?
A: Store the cream squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Q: Can I freeze these cream squares?
A: Yes, these squares freeze well. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

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Q: What can I use instead of coconut?
A: If you’re not a fan of coconut, you can omit it or replace it with chopped nuts or a crumb topping.

Q: Can I make these squares dairy-free?
A: Yes, substitute the butter with a dairy-free alternative, such as coconut oil or margarine, and ensure the powdered sugar is vegan.

Enjoy making and savoring these delightful Cream Squares with Lemon and Coconut!

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