I remember lemon bars vividly as they were something I made many years ago from a cookbook and I was very unsure what to expect. What emerged from the oven was indeed something I couldn’t have foretold. This is a recipe that makes lemons sing; oven baked curd atop a shortbread base and I’ve spruced it up with some fresh mint thrown into the mix. A little tip is not to dust with icing sugar too far ahead as the bars will soak it in and you won’t be very impressed with the look!
Lemon Bars with Mint
for the shortbread base
- 180g plain flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 120g unsalted butter, cubed
for the topping
- 190g caster sugar
- 25g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 medium eggs
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- icing sugar, to dust
Make the shortbread base: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4 and line the base of a 20cm square tin with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl (or a food processor), combine the flour with the sugar then rub in the butter so the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, spread evenly then press down firmly; prick all over with a fork.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile prepare the topping.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour and baking powder then add the eggs. Whisk together until smooth then whisk in the lemon zest and juice, and chopped mint. Pour onto the baked base and return to the oven for 15 minutes until risen and slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave to cool in the tin.
Dust with plenty of icing sugar and cut into 16 squares before serving.