The lemon trees in our neighbourhood are loaded with fruit right now and it’s there for the taking. The branches hang over the walls of people’s gardens and if not picked, the lemons just fall on the ground and rot. Same for the oranges. Since I love that tart lemony taste, both in savoury food as well as in sweets, we’ve been picking lots of lemons.
Last week, I made some lemon bars which were yummy. I found the recipe on the internet in ‘Mel’s Kitchen Cafe‘ but made a few minor modifications (mainly less sugar) so here it is. The shortbread crust was delicious in itself and the addition of the lemon topping was sheer decadence. I did end up freezing some of the bars as I had made an orange olive oil cake the day before so we had a glut of teatime treats, but they taste better when fresh. So make them and eat them, which is not difficult to do!
13/4 cups (~260g) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (150g) icing sugar
1/4 cup (~40g) corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz (175g) butter
4 large eggs
1 cup (225g) sugar
3 tabspns flour
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup (160mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1/3 cup (80mL) milk
pinch of salt
Sift the flour, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Cut in the butter and mix to form a dough. Press into a 9 X 13″ tin and leave to chill for 1/2 to 1h. Heat oven to 180C (350F) and bake crust until golden brown ~ 20 mins. Lower temperature to 170C (325F).
While crust is baking, beat the eggs, then beat in the sugar and flour. Add lemon juice, milk and zest and mix well. Pour over hot crust (the crust should not be left to cool). The topping is very liquid at this stage and one can’t imagine it thickening but it does. Bake 20-30 mins until topping is firm to the touch. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.