Lemon squares (or bars) with a twist. Kalamansi and pineapple squares are made with fresh juices and lots of love.
I used to bake lemon squares often in the past. Kalamansi squares, actually, because I always substituted kalamansi juice for the lemon juice. A matter of economics. Kalamansi is native to the Philippines and, except during the monsoon season, cheap. Whereas, lemons are pricey. There was even a time when we had a kalamansi tree that bore fruits prolifically and I could get all the juice I wanted.
But I was the only one in the family who really like kalamansi squares so their appearance in our house became more and more rare. Too tart, everyone said. But cutting down on the lemon juice would ruin the balance. And using less sugar would have affected the overall texture.
My solution? Dilute the acidity by combining kalamansi juice and pineapple juice.
Pineapple juice is tart but not as tart as kalamansi juice. It is thicker too. So, why not?
The experiment paid off extremely well.
If you prefer thinner squares, you can always adjust the ratio of the ingredients. Personally, I like the crust thick because its light crispness and lightly crumbly texture provides a wonderful contrast with the curd-like filling.
Powdered sugar on top of the kalamansi and pineapple squares is optional. But we did a video of the recipe and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to show the process of sprinkling powdered sugar on slow motion. Just having fun, as usual.
Kalamansi and Pineapple SquaresPrint Pin
For the crust:
- ½ cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter
For the filling:
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup kalamansi juice (lemon or lime will work too!)
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- additional powdered sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease and line an 8" x 8" baking pan.
- Make the crust. Sift together the flour and the powdered sugar.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and cut into the flour mixture until the texture resembles small peas.
- Dump into the prepared pan and press lightly with the fingers.
- Bake in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.
- Sift together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs until thick.
- Pour the eggs into the flour mixture and mix to blend.
- Pour in the kalamansi and pineapple juices and mix until well blended.
- Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake in a 300F oven for one hour or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- Cut into nine squares (or 12 if you prefer smaller squares) and, optionally, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.