The original plan was to simply make Anna Olson’s creamy lemon squares with yummy cream cheese but there were issues with not very defined layers. Ahem. Apparently there’s no such thing as a fail, you just re-name it (which is how an apple pie dropped upside down became the famous tarte tatin). Anyway it’s really hot and humid here in Barcelona so tada! new plan with my little invention: yummy gluten-free lemon squares are crumbled to fill charmingly delicious ice lollies made less sweet with nice healthy ingredients – lots of fresh lime juice, natural Greek-style yoghurt and superfood skyr sweetened with a little pure maple syrup. A few optional raspberries or candied yuzu are also delish. This crumbled cake ice-lolly technique is jolly useful if you’re about to go travelling or on a diet and fancy freezing food in handy popsicle form. But back to the original inspiration for trying an Anna Olson recipe. It came from the Cooking the Chef group which I’ve sadly neglected the last few months but it’s always lovely to join their challenges and see recipes other members have tried by the designated chef (here) My contribution is Anna’s lemon squares that you can eat as they are or turn into amazing hybrid cake lollies tasting like a light creamy lemon and lime cheesecake on a stick! Hope you’ll try these lemon square popsicles! 🙂
Anna Olson’s recipe is here for measurements in cups. My friend said my lemon squares were yummy but I feel too sad about my version to draw illustrations. I followed Anna’s recipe but didn’t blend the filling, used Doves Farm self-raising glutenfree flour (which usually works) and replaced 50g of the sugar in the lemon filling with pure maple syrup. Here’s some photos (they’re a bit different from Anna’s).
Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F (fan/convection) or 180°C/360°F (static).
Base: 150g gf or plain flour, 50g unrefined golden caster sugar, 115g unsalted butter (cold, cut into pieces). Mix rapidly in food processor to fine breadcrumb consistency and press into square mould lined with baking paper (23cm/9in). Bake 15 – 18 minutes (will be more next time) until golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven again to temperature above.
Filling: 250g unrefined golden caster sugar, 50g pure maple syrup, 113g Philadelphia cream cheese, 2 tsp lemon zest, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 125ml lemon juice, 224g beaten egg at room temperature, 38g gf or plain flour. Whisk the cream cheese, sugar and maple syrup until creamed and light. Add the eggs gradually then add remaining ingredients and whisk briefly to incorporate. Pour over the cooled base and bake around 30 minutes (possibly less if you want that jiggle in the middle that Anna Olson mentions).
Chill a minimum 3 hours in the fridge before cutting.
Next time I would bake the base longer than 18 minutes and let it cool completely to hopefully harden. Then I’d pour the filling over it and bake less than 30 minutes (around 20 or 25). All this might also prevent the base and filling mingling like two long-lost friends determined to get together, shattering my sweet dream of a clear yellow lemon topping over a crisp shortbread base. Sigh. But they do taste lovely and the lollies are wonderful…
Lemon square lollies
For 6 medium-sized lollies – the quantities are flexible so adapt to taste. Use simple lolly moulds.
- 125g/4.4oz Natural unsweetened Skyr (or Kefir/Greek-style yoghurt/Quark, etc)
- 125g/4.4oz Natural unsweetened Greek-style yoghurt (or the options above)
- 1 – 2 tbsp or more pure maple syrup (or honey), to taste
- 50 – 90g/ml freshly-squeezed lime juice (about 1 or 2 limes), to taste
- 5 – 6 lemon squares (1 square per lolly or a bit less, to taste)
- some candied yuzu from lemon tea marmalade, optional addition
- some raspberries, optional addition
Mix the skyr and yoghurt (or quark, kefir, etc) with the maple syrup and lime juice in a bowl. Crumble a quarter of a lemon square into the bottom of each lolly mould. Add a spoon of skyr mixture in each and mash a little with a stick. Insert a little candied yuzu or a few raspberries if using. Repeat until the moulds are filled and check all the lemon squares are surrounded by mixture (mash a little if necessary) then insert the lolly sticks. Freeze overnight. To unmould place the plastic-covered lolly under hot running water for 10 to 30 seconds or so.
Eating and storing
It’s like eating a deliciously tangy lemon-lime cheesecake on a stick! They can be stored in the freezer up to 2 or more months but are probably best eaten during the first few weeks.
Here’s a later version with a few raspberries added in. Really yummy too.
Thanks for the inspiration Anna Olson and the Cooking the chef group!
Anna Olson is a lovely no-fuss friendly Canadian chef who has inspired bakers all over the world with her easy-to-follow online recipes, TV programmes and books. She was working in a bank but found her true love was baking and became a professional pastry chef. She then met her husband chef Michael Olson. It’s a very sweet true fairytale involving hard work, dedication, talent and love.
So fancy a bite of delicious slightly healthier lemon square and lime ice lolly? Yum!
Another day, another lolly! Bye again dears, wishing you a really cool week ahead! With some very happy baking or no-baking but definitely some yummy eating! 🙂 Lili x