Saturday, 22 April 2017

Lemon Squares - Lemon Bars

I felt like a big lemon hit today so I set about making some Lemon Squares, or Lemon Bars as they are known it some places.  These have a delicious shortbread base and a wonderful lemon topping.

The recipe is quite simple and just requires a little patience, as some waiting is involved.  The first thing to to make the shortbread and let it cool.  Then a simple lemon mixture, with eggs, sugar, flour and, of course, lemons.  Poured over and baked and then cooled, that is all there is to it.

I really enjoyed how mine turned out, the top had a light crisp coating, from the flour, and underneath the fantastic sharp hit of lemon, tempered by the sugar and the lovely buttery shortbread base.  These would be ideal, chilled, on a warm summer's day.  But they are also great at any time.
                               Lemon Squares - Lemon Bars

                        Lemon Square - Lemon Bars - Video
Ingredients:
For the base:
  • 255g plain flour
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
For the lemon topping:
  • 240ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of two lemons(my zest weighed 8g)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs(extra large in USA)
  • 128g plain flour
  • Icing Sugar for decoration, if required.
Method:
  1. Place the butter and sugar into a stand mixer, with the paddle attached, and beat until light and fluffy(this can be done by hand too).
  2. Add the salt and flour and mix on slow speed until all is combined.
  3. Line a 13inch by 9 inch baking tin with some aluminium foil(this is to make it easy to remove the baked confection for cutting).
  4. Take the dough and press it all over the base of the baking tin trying to make it as even as possible.
  5. Chill in the fridge for 15 while the oven is pre-heating to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  6. Bake the base in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it is beginning to turn a nice golden colour.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 
  8. Once the base is cooled place the eggs and caster sugar into a large bowl and whisk until fully combined.
  9. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  10. Slowly add the flour and mix until all is combined and there are no lumps.
  11. Gently pour the mixture into the baking tin to cover the shortbread base.
  12. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the lemon mixutre is set, the top will be set with a light crisp and underneath to soft lemon filling.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  14. Carefully remove from the tin and cut into squares of equal size(I got 24).
  15. Sprinkle some icing sugar on the top for decoration.



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