We’ve got these beautiful glass jars, one blue glass and the other orange glass, and most often they’re empty, but every now and then they get filled with treats. And I think this is my current favourite treat to eat.
This recipe comes from a 1995 Vogue Living. Within the – styled with raffia, geraniums and terracotta – pages, hides this pretty little recipe. These lemon squares are sometimes referred to as ‘damp’ lemon squares or ‘moist’ lemon squares, but those names really don’t do such a delicious treat justice. The last post was lemony too? Are we obsessed with zest? Perhaps, perhaps.
I guess you could call this a slice. It has a chewy biscuit base and a lemon curd-like top. Eating these feels less wrong than spooning lemon curd straight from the jar, which is what I end up doing whenever Sarah makes it. But the magic really happens at the edges of the slice. Sarah makes these in a couple of loaf tins instead of a baking dish because every square should have an edge. The edges caramelise and get this beautiful, chewy, lemony, caramel flavour. Amazing. In the blue or orange jars each layer of squares gets separated by a little piece of baking paper, so they don’t stick.
Now, it may surprise some of you, but since we talked last I’ve left Australia on a jet plane. For the next little bit I’ll be posting from afar – some recipes will be from Melbourne town and some will be recipes I’ve collected on my travels and mailed home. Sarah sent me on my way with three themed mixed tapes for my journey, but we forgot the Asia mixed tape. What songs go with the smell of Durian fruit lingering, the motorcycles, the humid heat? All I’ve wanted to eat since I got here is fruit and I’ve been drinking icy, refreshing drinks that I don’t know the names of. But lemon squares, they could tempt me back to Melbourne.
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g stick of butter chopped at room temperature
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
caster sugar (to finish)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine flour and caster sugar in large bowl. Add butter and rub into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs or the like. Press mixture into bottom of 22cm baking dish. Bake base mixture until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Maintain oven temperature.
While baking the base prepare the topping. Beat with a whisk lightly until combined the following in a medium bowl: eggs, sugar, lemon juice, flour and lemon peel. Pour into crust. Bake until mixture is set, about 20 minutes.
Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Cut into squares and sift caster sugar over the top while cooling.