I would love to have said that these luscious lemon bars were made from lemons that I lovingly picked from my own tree...but that would be lying. In fact, when I went to make these bars for the first time, it was the week that every bird in the neighbourhood flocked to take a bite out of every. single. lemon on my tree.
Oh, well. Store-bought lemons work just as well (as would limes, oranges, tangelos - oh the possibilities!)
I adapted my recipe from Joy The Baker, and can't wait to adapt even my own recipe to include other citrus - I'm thinking a double layered bar with lemon on the bottom and lime on top? Has anyone tried this before?
These bars are so so so perfect for a spring or summer's day, but I suppose the sudden bout of warm-ish winter weather here (which isn't supposed to last, apparently) got me in the mood for this classic homemade treat, which, have I mentioned, is perfectly simple and easy to make?
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius, or 350F, and line an 8x8" tin with baking paper.
2. Cream 113g of butter with 1/2 cup of sugar using a stand-mixer (I used my beloved KitchenAid) for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of plain flour and a pinch of salt, and don't forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary!
3. Pour the crust mixture into the tin and press it down evenly over the base of the tin with your fingertips. To smooth it out, I used the back of a spoon and rubbed the crust.
4. Bake the crust for 15-18 minutes until browned. Make sure you back it in the top third of the oven, else it will take a lot longer for the base to bake (and consequently a lot longer before you get to eat it, and we can't have that, can we?)
5. Whilst the crust is baking, whisk 2 large eggs with 3/4 cup white sugar until the mixture gets slightly thicker. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest (from your tree of otherwise, pesky birds!), and 3 tablespoons of plain flour, along with 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. Feel free to swap the lemon for any other citrus you fancy.
6. Take the crust from the oven once baked and pour your luscious and creamy lemon mixture on top.
7. Bake for a further 18-20 minutes until the top layer doesn't jiggle in the middle. Again, make sure the tray is in the top third of the oven!
8. Leave to cool completely whilst still in the tin. Then take the slab out of the tin and cut into squares, adorning it with a heavy dusting of icing sugar to combat the tartness.
These lemon bars are an easy picnic treat, or just a lovely homage to days of old xx