Lemon bars tea time treat
Lemon bars tea time treat
Lemon bars tea time treat

We always seem to have lemons hidden away in the back of the fridge and, as good as this lemon drizzle cake is, we thought we’d try something a bit different with them. We’re moving house (again) and so this meant moving the hundreds of cookery books my parents have acquired over the years. If you think I’m joking about the amount of cookery books, I’m not. They’ve got some that are priced in shillings (I think some were their parent’s books), that make for quite interesting reads as they’re full of odd recipes. 
But back to the lemon bars. We rediscovered the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and came across these bars. They’re incredibly simple to make, everything’s just whizzed up in a food processor, and are perfect alongside a cup of tea. The only problem is that I’d like them a bit more lemony so I adapted the recipe slightly to make them so. 
Ingredients: for the base
125g Plain Flour
65g Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
115g butter, cut into chunks
for the filling:
1 1/2 small – to medium sized lemons
Lemon extract, couple of drops
265g caster sugar
115g butter, cut into chunks
4 large eggs
2 tbsp cornflour
1/4 tsp salt
~ Preheat your oven to 180degrees and line a baking pan (about 8in squared) with baking paper.
~ Make the base by blending the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and then add the butter chunk by chunk until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
~ Put the mixture into your lined baking pan and press the dough evenly over the bottom and about 1cm up the sides. Then prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork. (You’ll need it up the sides otherwise your lemon mixture is going to go everywhere. But if, like me, you neglect this step here you can press the dough up the sides a bit more when you’ve baked the pastry – just be careful not to burn your fingertips!)
~ Bake in the center of your hot oven for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is a light brown.
 
~ Make the filling: Cut your whole lemon in half. If the white pithy bit is over 0.5cm then remove the skin of one half by placing the flat side of the lemon down and slicing off the skin. Cut the lemon halves into thin slices, remove any pips and place the rest of the lemon, rind and all, in to the food processor. Add the juice of the other half too. 
~ Pulse the lemons in short bursts for a couple of minutes until you have a lemony pulp and no bits of whole rind left. 
~ Add the butter and pulse again until you have a smooth mixture
~ Now add the sugar, cornflour, eggs, salt and a couple of drops of lemon extract (or to taste) and blitz until combined. 
~ Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the mixture wobbles less and the tops of the pastry have turned a lightish brown. 
~ Leave to cool slightly and then remove from the pan and paper and cut into squares. 
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