Grit Blogs > City Gal Moves to Oz Land

Frozen Lemon Squares Take the Heat Off Summer

A photo of Oz GirlWhen I was recently asked to bring a dessert to a fellow employee's last day at work, I was stumped. Scratching my head, I thought "what in the world could I make that would NOT involve using my oven." The last thing I wanted was a hot kitchen when the temps outside had been in the upper 90s!

So I started digging through my ole trusty recipe box, thinking I had an old lemon squares recipe that might be perfect. And I did! By golly, I hadn't made this recipe for almost 20 years, at least. So I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't be tasty enough to take somewhere for others to eat. Thankfully, I had no reason for worry. It was every bit as good as I remembered, and then some. Everyone at work loved it ... several said they normally don't care for lemon but they loved the mild flavor and the sweet coolness of this dessert.

Frozen Lemon Squares

1/4 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1- 14 oz. can  Eagle sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup ReaLemon
Few drops yellow food coloring, optional
Whipped topping

Combine butter, crumbs and sugar. Press into 8" or 9" square pan. Beat egg yolks. Stir in Eagle milk, lemon juice and food coloring.  Pour into crust and chill in freezer. After an hour or so, when filling has set, add whipped topping and return to freezer til firm.

Frozen Lemon Squares

My recommendations:

I used the juice of one lemon and added enough ReaLemon to get my 1/2 cup. I also made my own graham crackers using graham flour, which gave the crust a more grainy texture. Don't substitute whole wheat flour if you make your own graham crackers. Be sure to use whole wheat GRAHAM flour - trust me, they taste much better! I think you could also increase the brown sugar and honey somewhat if you want your crackers sweeter. I sprinkled mine with cinnamon sugar before I baked them.

I'll just bet you've got some picnics to go to this weekend ... why not take a sweet and chilly treat that's easy to make and sure to please most everyone?!

oz girl
7/14/2010 12:08:28 PM

Erich ~ You could certainly try that method. I found a recipe variation throughout the internet that called for baking the crust and filling in the oven, then once it had cooled, adding the cool whip topping and putting in the refrigerator or freezer. I haven't tried that method because I've had good luck with the no-bake method.


erich
7/14/2010 8:46:00 AM

If a person was concerned about salmonella, do you think that heating this up on the stove before pouring over the crust would be a good idea?


robyn dolan
7/12/2010 6:20:31 PM

Mmm...this sounds JUST like my baked lemon squares that we so much enjoy when the kitchen is not already 90 degrees! Never thought of trying them frozen, but I will now. Thanx for the info on salmonella. My family is rather paranoid on that one.


nancy c.
7/12/2010 6:03:04 PM

Hello Oz Girl..... I don't think finding a "rotten egg" would be the same as picking up a salmonella infection from an infected egg. First of all, I have had a backyard flock of chickens for almost 35 years now and have NEVER run across a rotten egg.....or gotten salmonella from an egg. BUT, you have to realize that any egg can become rotten if it is not re used in an appropreciate lenght of time or if it is left out in a hidden nest and not collected. To get an egg with salmonella, a SICK chicken is going to have laid it....ANY chicken's egg can become rotten. Not the same as far as I can see. I will be turning 63 Wednesday (how great is that?!!) and I have never cracked open a rotten egg or seen my mother or grandmothers crack open a rotten egg either. There is wisdom in cracking each egg, before using, into a separate bowl is a trick that I learned from not only my mom but from my two high school Home Ec. teachers and think it is a good idea for a number of reasons. The reason for doing this is to make sure you don't get any shell in whatever you are making. Sometimes you might find a blood spot, which will not hurt but can just turn some people off, and sometimes you might find a piece of grain in the egg....now don't ask me how it gets there but I have seen this one. I wouldn't worry about salmonella or rotten eggs as long as you take care of your chickens, refrigerate eggs & watch the expiration date.


oz girl
7/11/2010 10:11:52 PM

Nancy, would this be the same as cracking open a rotten egg?? This has only happened to me ONCE in all my {ahem} almost 50 years on this planet. Even so, I still crack my eggs separately in a bowl before adding them to anything, just to be safe I don't ruin an entire recipe with a rotten egg. If the rotten egg scenario is not the same as the salmonella issue, well then, I would say the odds of coming across the rotten egg are about the same as the odds of contracting salmonella from eggs!


nancy c.
7/11/2010 8:20:52 PM

If one looks at studies which have been done to analyse the risks of contracting salmonella from raw eggs, it is surprising to find out how low this risk actually is. A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2002 (Risk Analysis April 2002 22(2):203-18) indicates that only 2.3 million, out of the 69 billion eggs produced annually, are contaminated with salmonella. So this really means that only 0.003 % of eggs are infected. Viewed another way, only 1 in every 30,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella, which shows how uncommon this problem actually is. Based on those numbers, the average person would come across a contaminated egg only once in 42 years.


nancy c.
7/11/2010 8:18:58 PM

If one looks at studies which have been done to analyse the risks of contracting salmonella from raw eggs, it is surprising to find out how low this risk actually is. A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2002 (Risk Analysis April 2002 22(2):203-18) indicates that only 2.3 million, out of the 69 billion eggs produced annually, are contaminated with salmonella. So this really means that only 0.003 % of eggs are infected. Viewed another way, only 1 in every 30,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella, which shows how uncommon this problem actually is. Based on those numbers, the average person would come across a contaminated egg only once in 42 years.


cathyjk
7/9/2010 10:30:51 AM

No cooking eggs? Hmm. Does the freezing kill anything that might be untowards in the egg yolk?


cindy murphy
7/2/2010 5:33:36 PM

Mmmmm, sounds wonderful, Ozgirl. And easy enough that even I can do it. No baking is a bonus; I don't bake....ever.


oz girl
7/1/2010 3:35:19 PM

I did some research on this recipe and found it all over the web! I'm sure it came from the label of Eagle milk, although I had a handwritten recipe card in my recipe box. The biggest variation I found was that some recipes indicated baking the crust and lemon filling, as opposed to just freezing it. My guess -- this is an update on the familiar old recipe due to the egg yolks being uncooked. I have not tried the baked version, but I can honestly say I have not experienced any adverse effects from simply freezing my dessert.