I love going to the beach. Singapore's an island country, so we have plenty of beaches. I live 30 minutes away from Sembawang beach, and I go there as often as I can. I sit and watch the sea, listen to the waves gently lapping in, and smell the barbeques families fire up all around me, for hours. Its feels fantastic just to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to give my ears and my mind a break from the constant stream of mp3, television, radio and internet that so dominates modern life. But what is a good beach outing without something delicious to nibble on?
This is where these amazing FRESH LEMON BARS come in. I find that bars are the best kind of food to bring to the beach. They can be made in advance, in case you are anxious to get to the beach early to snatch that prime picnic table. They taste perfect at room temperature, which means that transporting them is no problem, and also they can take a few hours of sitting in the sun. They are also easy to eat, no need to bother with cutleries or even napkins. On this particular day, I arranged a picnic with a dear old friend at the popular East Coast Park, and I made a batch of these beautiful fresh lemon bars as my contribution to the picnic.
I don't usually take to citrus flavoured baked goods, not because I have anything against citrus [I love them, actually], but that I find that they always taste somewhat bland, the wonderful tangy citrus flavour never really coming through. This recipe, however, proved to be the exception. Without the aid of any extract, it managed to be extremely lemony, tangy and lemon-sweet all at once! So give it a go, because its wonderful =)
210g plain flour
70g powdered sugar
150g cold butter cut into small pieces
2 large lemons
2 large eggs
190g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the flour and powdered sugar, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour mixture into a baking pan, press in firmly, and bake until light brown in a preheated 180 degree celcius oven.
For the filling, from the lemons, grate the skin [grate only once from each surface to avoid getting the bitter pith] and squeeze the juice, keep aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high speed until thick, around 3 minutes. Add in the lemon zest and juice, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons of flour, beating until blended. Pour filling over the warm crust and bake for around 15 minutes until set. Once done, sift 1 tablespoon of powder sugar over the warm filling, then let cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving [or leaving for the beach =P], cut into bars, and they are ready to be consumed!
*This was done a while back, only got to posting it now =) Its such a delightful recipe, can't bare to not post it!
** Recipe from Good Housekeeping: Great Baking.