From a large, industrial metal recipe box (green, with dents and dings) comes this vintage recipe for Lemon Crumb Squares. This recipe is crazy easy and perfect with the summer flavors of lemon, brown sugar, and oats with a crumb topping. If you can open a can of condensed milk, zest some lemon, and put together a quick crumb topping you can likely make this recipe! The lemon will make your kitchen smell terrific. Lessons learned, avoid the following: using baking soda instead of baking powder (I cannot figure out why I cannot keep those two straight), scraping your fingers on the zester. Use a large bowl for your crumb topping otherwise it spills over and makes a mess.
Bonus points if you use your favorite skeleton rubber spatula and lick it after pouring the topping on the crust.
The photo for this week’s recipe of D.H. Howes II and a friend. The note on the bottom of the aged photo reads “Just to show you I still am in good shape physically. This was taken in my German back yard – the other yob is a Mess Sgt. friend.”
Side note: You know I had to look up the word yob (because no matter how many times I re-read that word it always came out as yob). Yob = possibly: uncultured, hooligan, or simply another word for boy and is used in English & Australian culture. I’m pretty sure that is what it means, anyway. We all know Wikipedia is an excellent source of information….love the pic none-the-less.
- 15 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 grated lemon rind
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ⅔ cup shortening (or cold butter, cut into slices)
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- In a small bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, salt. Cut in the shortening (or butter) with either a fork or a pastry cutter as you would for pie crust until the shortening is the size of small peas and the crumb is consistent.
- Pour half of the crumb mixture into an 8x12 casserole dish and press to form a firm crust. Pat until evenly flat.
- Pour the lemon mixture evenly over this crust and spread carefully (and lightly) with a rubber spatula until even. Take care not to stir as you want this to be a defined layer without the crumb crust mixed in.
- Pour the remainder of the crumb topping evenly over the top of the lemon layer. Do not press this layer, leave crumbly as is.
- Bake in a 350* oven for 35-40 minutes until top is lightly browned.
- Cool before cutting. Eat. Eat. Eat.