Friday, 11 March 2011

Whole lemon bars

 I haven’t come across a lot of this style of lemon slice – or lemon bar, as David Lebovitz and the rest of the US would have it. It’s not the usual tuckshop bakeless condensed milk/crushed-biscuit lemon sloice with a layer of lemon icing and desiccated coconut, but is more like a lemon curd layer oven-baked over a prebaked shortbread crust.

This uses the whole lemon, so organic ones are called for; Meyers tend to be mentioned a lot when it comes to baking sweet lemony things, but I’ve never come across them that I know of. I turned to the huge husky lemons I was given from someone’s tree, rather than schlepping to an organic shop with baskets and hand-chalked blackboards (organic produce: a good thing; the cultish well-heeled smugness often – that’s often, as in not always – surrounding its supply and consumption: sometimes sick-making). These citrus footballs had a thick layer of pith, so I peeled off the good skin with a veggie peeler and then cut away the potentially sour pith and ditched that.

I also threw in a lime cut in quarters in lieu of the juice of another lemon, although would the food processor chop up the skin? Would it bugger, to paraphrase Bubble of Ab Fab. It had to be fished out and chopped manually in a pool of lemony, sugary egg as I puzzled over how the blade would know the difference between that and lemon rind.

And it would have been better to remain out – anyone who copped a mouthful of lime rind as an introduction to the slice got the old involuntary mouth-pucker, however tart they claimed to like their lemon slice. Despite this, all were polished off by the end of the working day – only the Tall Designer was a total wuss and couldn’t finish his piece. I think the delicately crunchy buttery shortcrust base went a long way to soothe most.

*Admire with me the shot kindly taken by the Quiltmaker with her nifty Hipstamatic app just before the last piece vanished. I love its ghostly grid and its nostalgic orange cast, although by the harsh light of day the slice was rather more pallid.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my mum had a tree of Meyers lemons at her last house. It was hugely productive, and the lemons very juicy. But they're not very *lemony* to my mind.