Lemon, olive oil slice

You need to take advantage of the uplifting and refreshing flavour of lemons while they are still fragrant and juicy. This slice hits the spot!

Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert
Lemon, olive oil slice

Makes 24

Ingredients

For the crust
150g flour
50g white sugar
3 Tbsp icing sugar, plus more for dusting
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
¼ tsp fine sea salt
150g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the curd
4 to 6 lemons
1½ cups/300g sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1½ tsp cornflour
pinch of fine sea salt
60g butter
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method
Heat oven to 160degC and line a 18cm square baking tin with enough baking paper to hang over two of the sides (to be used as handles later to lift the bars out of the pan).

To make the shortbread base, pulse together the flour, sugar, icing sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food processor, or whisk together in a large bowl.

Add butter and pulse (or use your fingers) to cut the butter into the flour until a crumbly dough forms. Press dough into prepared tin and bake until shortbread is a pale gold colour all over, usually 25-30 minutes.

To make the lemon curd, finely grate the zest from the lemons and set aside. Squeeze the lemons so you get ¾ cup of juice.

In a small saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornflour and fine sea salt over a medium heat until boiling and thickened, 2-5 minutes. You need to watch it at this stage as it can go lumpy.

Make sure the mixture comes to a boil and stays there for 30 seconds - you should see it thicken up before you take it off the heat. But once it boils do not cook for longer than 1 minute or you risk the curd thinning out again.

Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Whisk in butter, olive oil and lemon zest.

When the base is ready, remove from the oven and carefully pour the lemon curd on to the shortbread base before returning to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes (until the curd just sets).

Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold before cutting into bars.

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