Lemon Bars - {recipe}

I live on a main road and were I have gotten used to the traffic and the bus that runs all night has almost become a comforting sound as it rolls by before drifting off to sleep or in the mornings when waking up.

It's also the lights of these buses that keep my company as I stay up late baking. I have always preferred to bake at night. I think it's because when I started baking I was a stay at home mom and I liked waiting until the kids were in bed and it was a way of de-stressing. Unless it didn't turn out and then I would stress more.

But generally speaking it was therapeutic weighing out the ingredients and mixing them all together before popping it into the oven and then cleaning up before taking it out of the oven to cool and going to bed. If it was cake it would get frosted in the morning and if it wasn't it would cool ready to be eaten in the morning.

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and so I found myself up late baking again, something I haven't done in a while. And as it was my birthday I baked something just for me. A treat that isn't found here in the UK (if it is I have never seen it), a treat that reminded me of home. Lemon Bars. I can't remember the last time I had one.

My extensive baking book collection uncovered several recipes for lemon bars and all of them were pretty much the same. So, here is how I made these buttery tart lemon bars.

Lemon Bars: 


180g plain flour
80g icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
114g unsalted butter, cubed*

Grease a 9x9 inch square baking tin with butter, I use the wrapper of the my block of butter, dust gently with flour and tap out the excess. Heat the oven to 170C

Sift all the dry ingredients together and using your finger tips combine the butter into the flour, sugar, and salt until it resembles bread crumbs. Pour into the prepared baking tin and press it down into the corners and try to get it as even as possible. Bake for about 15 minutes. Allow it to bake and cool while get on with the

lemon filling:

3 large eggs
200g sugar
about 125ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed (2-3 lemons)
lemon zest from about 2-3 lemons
35g plain flour
pinch of salt

Beat the eggs until frothy using a hand mixer. Add the sugar little by little, until just combined. Beat in the lemon juice and zest on medium high for a minute or two until combined. Mix in the flour and salt and then poor over the baked crust and bake for 15 more minutes. The edges should be slightly browned and the top should have tiny bubbles. Leave to cool for at least an hour or if you're like me over night. Cut and sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.

*tip - for the butter in the crust bring it out of the fridge just as you are measuring ingredients. You don't want it to be room temperature or worse melting.

Not only do I stay up late baking, I stay up late blogging too. I wonder why I don't like mornings, but I think it's pretty obvious that I stay up way too late! Wether you are a late night baker or not I hope you enjoy them! 

*inspiration from - Fat Witch Brownies by Patricia Helding, Betty Crocker Red Cookbook, and Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

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