A week or two ago I made up a batch of my lovely lemon curd to make my lemon rice-cooker cake. I found I had quite a lot left over. I wanted to find a recipe to use the lot and suddenly realized I could make some good old lemon bars. Lemon curd can of course be eaten on its own or with all manner of breakfast goodies like pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc. But I wanted to make one of my favourite lemony goodies. I was rather disappointed with the ones I had eaten the week before at Tartine so I decided to knock up a batch myself.
100g all purpose flour
30g of icing sugar (sugar powder)
90g of butter
A small pinch of salt
3 lemons (zest and juice)
100g of white sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch)
85g of butter
100ml orange juice
100ml of water
To make the lemon curd put the corn flour, sugar, lemon zest and juice into a saucepan and stir. Add the orange juice and water then turn on to a medium heat. Continue stirring, until it starts to bubble. Turn off the heat and add the butter. Continue to stir until the butter has melted, then whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. When the mixture has completely combined, turn the heat back on to low and stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Let the curd cool a little before adding to the biscuit base.
To make the biscuit base, preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Line a square or rectangular tin with baking paper, making sure that it comes at least an inch or two higher than the sides. This is how you will remove them from the tin once they are done. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl and mix together. Cut the butter into chunks then rub it into the flour, until it forms a bread crumb like texture. Put the crumbs into a tin and press down to make the bottom layer. Bring the crumbs up around the edge to form a small ridge around the side. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until it is golden brown and firm to the touch.
Allow the biscuit layer to cool before putting the lemon curd on top. Use a knife to make sure it is an even layer. Pop the tray back into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it has set. The middle may still have a bit of a jiggle but it will firm up as it cools. Once the lemon bars are done, leave them to cool to room temperature then pop them in the fridge overnight. The longer they have to set the firmer they will be.
To remove the bars from the tin, tug on either end of your baking paper and lift the squares out of the tin. They should come out easily. Cut them into squares or rectangles with a clean sharp knife then decorate with icing sugar. Voilà lovely lemon bars.