Now that it's citrus season, there are piles of lovely lemons, mandarins, and oranges available in stores and markets. In my enthusiasm, I often fill my kitchen with the bright yellows and oranges of this winter bounty and end up wondering what to do with it all.
What's your favourite recipe using citrus fruit?
I love to use lemons in baking, be it a lemon glazed pound cake flavoured with the juice and rind, a lemon meringue pie, or my favourite winter warmer - a simple and delicious lemon slice.
I have researched and tried different lemon slice recipes over the years but the following is my modified version using a portion of brown sugar which adds a lovely caramelised flavour from the molasses.
It's best cooled and eaten at room temperature, with a cup of tea or coffee, while the biscuit base is soft, light, and crumbly and the lemon topping is still wonderfully gooey. If you prefer a crunchier base, add the optional dessicated coconut, otherwise it's perfectly fine without it.
I also prefer a lemon slice that does not have an overwhelming zing of lemon juice flavour upon first bite. Of course you're welcome to ramp up the lemon flavour in the recipe below by doubling the lemon juice but I prefer a more nuanced balance between the lemon, caramelised sugars, and vanilla essence and I am sure some of you will feel the same.
- 1 1/3 sticks or 150 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup caster/granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup plain or all purpose flour plus 1 tbsp corn or cake flour
- 1/3 cup dessicated coconut (optional)
- Rind of one lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- Rind of one lemon
- 1/3 cup plain or all purpose flour
- 1 cup caster/granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 medium-sized lemons)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius/350 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celcius/320 degrees Fahrenheit if fan forced).
Lightly grease a deep square baking pan and line with baking paper.
Mix all of the base ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. The dough will be soft and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Press and spread the dough evenly into the baking pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden.
While the base is baking, use the same bowl as before and whisk all the topping ingredients, except the lemon juice, until combined. Then stir in the lemon juice.
Pour topping mixture over the base and bake for about 15-20 minutes until set (there will be little or no wobble if you give the pan a gentle shake).
Serve at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.