As anyone who follows me on Twitter (or is a friend on Facebook) knows, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. My kitchen time is especially intense on Wednesdays, which is my baking day in preparation for the weekly coffee morning I organise which is mainly attended by school gate mums.
Every week I bake at least two cakes or biscuity or bready type things. Others often bring toast or crumpets, and we eat together and talk about how to solve the problems of the week. This morning it was improving working memory in dyslexic and ADHD affected kids.
This morning’s Cake & Chat delicacies from the Vicarage Kitchen were malt loaf, apple turnovers and lemonies. When I mentioned the lemonies on Facebook, my friend Snap asked for the recipe. Neatnik at Cake and Chat was also very keen on them, so this recipe is also for her.
I’ve decided that the only way to blog recipes is to give up the exalted aim of photographing step-by-step cooking, but to be content with a finished product pic. My photography skills are just not up to those of the Pioneer Woman, whose recipes always look so easy as she shows the whole procedure from cast of ingredients through to half-eaten plateful.
The original recipe book name for lemonies is Bahama meltaways. I renamed them lemonies, as they are like a lemon brownie, with a shortbread base. Also I have no idea what the Bahamas have to do with a traybake. The topping is sweet and chewy like a brownie, but with a great lemon kick. The recipe was originally in a Royal Scottish Country Dance Society cookbook given to me by my most excellent mother-in-law, who knows a thing or two about baking.
Shortbread: 3oz butter, 5oz plain flour, 2oz icing sugar
Topping: 8oz granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 2tbspns lemon juice, 2 tbspns plain flour, 1/2 tspn baking powder
I make this the quick way, using my food processor to blitz the flour and butter for the shortbread base before pulsing in the icing sugar. But if you don’t have a processor, just rub the butter into the flour until you have a fine sandy mixture. Then mix in the icing sugar.
Scatter the mixture in a tin (9×11″/23x28cm) which you have lined with baking paper or greased well. I have reusable liners cut to fit the tin, which saves lots of hassle when baking but is a bit of a faff for washing up. Flatten the mix down with your hand and put it to bake at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC) for 15 minutes.
Then mix all the topping ingredients together in a medium bowl or a jug, and then, when the 15 minutes are up, pour over the partly cooked base. Return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden and set.
Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes and then cut into squares. These are quite sweet, but have a wonderful crisp and chewy texture.