Originally ripped many years ago from a Delicious magazine this beauty has won me first prize in the Perth Royal Show and helped me out on countless occasions where I have needed to charm a crowd. Infact just last night the school P&C were treated to a batch as I successfully delegated the filling of 400 boxes for an upcoming cake stall. I think it is the astonishingly high volume of sugar combined with plenty of lemony zing has something to do with its luxurious and moreish quality.
For the base:
1 ½ cups (225g) plain flour
½ cup (80g) icing sugar, sifted
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
180g cold unsalted butter, chopped
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 cups (660g) caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
1 cup (250ml) lemon juice, strained
½ cup (75g) plain flour
Icing sugar to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰c. Generously butter and flour a 5cm x 24cm x 32cm baking tin and set it aside - This is a trap for first time players as you cant use baking paper as the base needs some traction to anchor it to the pan or it will float to the top once the curd is added.
2. Make the base first by putting flour, sugar and zest and butter in a food processor, blitz to until it is like coarse river sand. With the processor going, add vanilla and 2 teaspoons of iced water and whiz again till the mixture clumps into a ball. Wodge the dough evenly into the prepared tin. Chill for 5 mins
3. Bake the base for 15+ minutes or until the edges are starting to colour and the base is pale golden.
4. Now get moving on the curd. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until they are well combined. Whisk in the zest and juice. Sift flour over the top and whisk in until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
5. When the base is ready, Reduce the oven to 150⁰c. Once the base has cooled ever so slightly, give the filling a final quick mix, as it will have settled, then pour it over the base. Return to the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the topping is firm and stightly crustry. Leave the slice to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
6. Once the slice has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut it into elegant long rectangles. Dust madly with icing sugar before serving with a smile.