There’s something about lemons that I love. They can be so naturally bitter and eye-watering, yet when used in baking they can turn into something incredibly delicious and mouth-wateringly good. I love zesty fruit, be it lemons, limes or oranges. They make my palette wriggle and smile in delight. Lemons also tend to remind me of summer.
I have never attempted homemade lemonade (challenge accepted), so I think it’s down to the hue of the lemon which makes it so appealing to the eye. That blinding yellow colour reminds me of bright, hot, long days from my childhood. There are far and few between in existence in Ireland these days, and I’m sure this coming summer will live up to that fact. But I will cherish the memory of them for a lifetime.
We experienced an unexpected day of sunshine this week, when, believe it or not, I didn’t have to dress as an onion in one million layers of clothing when I departed for my daily jog. I could feel my Vitamin D deprived skin soaking up the wondrous rays of sunshine for all they were worth. It reminded me of summer, which in turn reminded me of lemons. And thus, the lemon slice was reborn.
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 75g caster sugar
- 155g plain flour, sifted
- Icing sugar, for dusting
For the topping:
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 230g caster sugar
- 60ml lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- 30g plain flour, sifted
- ½ tsp baking powder, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4). Lightly grease a 20 x 30cm baking tin and proceed to line the base with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Fold the flour into the mixture with a metal spoon. Press into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm and golden. Set aside to cool in the tin.
- For the topping, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl for approximately 2 minutes, or until the consistency is thick and the appearance is pale. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Gradually add the flour and baking powder, whisking until combined. Pour onto the base. Bake for 25 minutes, or until just firm to touch. Cool in the tin. Cut into rectangles and serve with a shake of icing sugar.