Lemon bars (or slice, or squares if you like) are a favourite down here in New Zealand, where many of us are lucky to have lush trees dripping with the golden fruit all winter. Lemons are one of several fruit I seriously resent having to buy when my supply is down (grapefruit and feijoas make up the rest of that list).
Our poor Meyer lemon tree was just about vanquished by a cyclone a few years back, split down the middle and now needing a big stake to prop it up. But if anything, it has gone on to produce more fruit than ever (super juicy with loads of pips, which I guess inidcates it’s preparing for citrus Armageddon and hoping to spread its seed?) So from June to around October, I’m all about the lemony recipes.
I’ve experimented with many recipes for lemon bars, and one of my favourites, and the one I base my version on, is by Julie Biuso of Shared Kitchen. My little tweaks are adding lemon zest to the base and playing round a bit with the sugar content. I’ve also converted this recipe for Thermomix so will supply both sets of instructions here.
220g butter, softened
70g brown icing sugar*
Zest 1 lemon
280g plain flour
4 eggs, beaten
150g white sugar
150g brown sugar
Zest 2 lemons
80ml lemon juice
1/3 cup plain flour
1tsp baking powder
- Grease and line an approx 30x20cm baking tray and preheat oven to 180°C.
- Beat butter until smooth then add sugar and beat until creamed. Mix in flour and lemon zest until evenly combined.
- Spread mixture out evenly on lined baking tray, gently pressing into the corners. Bake for 15 minutes until sealed on top then remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- To make the filling, beat together the beaten egg and sugars for several minutes then add the lemon zest and juice and beat again.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through to combine evenly.
- Carefully pour filling over base–it pays to do this on the oven tray pulled out front he oven, so you’re less likely to spill some in transition. The filing will completely cover the base and go over the edges, that’s fine.
- Bake at 180°C for approximately 40 minutes, until the centre has ceased wobbling and the top is turning golden brown in patches. Cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and slicing into bars, or squares if you prefer.
In a Thermomix (steps 2–5, all steps with lid inserted)
- Place better attachment in jug followed by eggs, turn timer to 10 seconds and speed to 3.5.
- Add sugar, turn timer to 10 seconds and speed to 3.5.
- Add lemon zest and juice, turn timer to 5 seconds and speed to 3.5.
- Add sifted flour and baking powder, turn timer to 10 seconds and speed to 4. Scrape down sides, turn timer to 10 seconds and speed to 3.5.
*Make brown icing sugar by whizzing raw brown sugar in the Thermomix or high-speed blender, or you can buy it at some supermarkets. White icing sugar is a fine replacement.