Robin, 27 June 08
2 c basic all purpose white flour
½ c confectioner’s/icing sugar
½ lb butter [sic]
Grated rind one lemon (do you have to be warned about ONLY grating the yellow part and NOT the white part? You also want unwaxed lemons if you’re going to eat the peel, and if I were you I’d want organic unwaxed lemons)
Mix flour and sugar; cut in butter and rind. Press in 13 x 9 inch pan (or reasonable equivalent. This is not a rocket-science, every 1/8th tsp counts, don’t slam the door while it’s baking, recipe). Bake 350° F 20 minutes, till light brown.
3 eggs, beaten till thoroughly mixed, but they should still be fluffy and foamy
2 c granulated sugar [sic]
½ c lemon juice (FRESH lemon juice. Anyone who uses Realemon or whatever ersatz rubbish they’re producing at the moment, is FOREVER BANNED from this blog)
1/3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
Beat sugar, flour and baking powder into eggs, then lemon juice. (The original recipe told you to beat in the lemon juice first, which is perverse, because the result is so thin the flour and baking powder will lump. Maybe I’m missing some rockety-sciency chemical reaction doing it my way, but almost everybody I’ve fed these to has wanted the recipe so I guess I can live with my shortcomings as a chemist.) Pour over baked crust. Bake 350° 25 minutes. It should be obviously set but only very faintly brown in the corners. Sprinkle with icing sugar, let cool. Let cool THOROUGHLY before you try to cut it into bars or you will be very sorry–in fact I recommend you let your refrigerator help you. It cuts better if it’s been refrigerated but it tastes better if you let it warm back up to room temperature.
And by all means put a raspberry or a mint leaf on top. Or both. I know there are a lot of lemon-meringue-pie-without-the-meringue cookies/bars/tarts out there (and indeed there are lemon-meringue-with-the-meringue cookies, bars and tarts out there too) but this is the one I use. A lot of them don’t have enough lemon juice in them. This one didn’t either in its original incarnation. Have I mentioned lately I’m an extremist?
I put cornmeal in when I want a rougher crust and cornstarch/cornflour when I want a meltier crust. For this recipe I use neither.
I always use ’slightly’ (as it says on the packet) salted butter because I find that’s as much salt as baking generally needs.