Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Lemon Squares

This is a really quick and easy food processor recipe, but it does mean that I have naff all in the way of "in progress" photos:)


Preheat oven to 180C (350F)


2 cups plain flour
1 cup cold butter, in smallish pieces
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup coconut - flaked or desiccated

Lemon Layer

1/4 cup plain flour
2 cups white caster sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder

Greased and lined 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan

Place all the ingredients for the base into the food processor and process until it looks like wet sand. Press the crumb mixture into the base of the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

While the base is baking in the oven, put all ingredients for the lemon layer into the food processor and blend for two or three minutes until well combined and to let the sugar begin to dissolve into the eggs and lemon.

Pour the lemon mixture over the base while it's still hot and bake again for 20-25 minutes until the surface of the lemon mixture is crisp and golden. It's easier to do the pouring if you just leave the baking pan in the oven and slide the shelf it's sitting on out of the oven slightly to make it easier to get at, rather than try to carry it back to the oven full of liquid.

Once baked remove the baking pan from the oven and place on a wire rack, then leave the squares in the pan until complete cool and cut into squares ready to serve.

The lemony layer is very like a firm set lemon curd with a very light and crispy topping.


Monday, 5 April 2010

Non Bread Tasty Loaf Thingy

A friend likes to call this cinnamon and apple soda bread, because it uses soda as a raising agent, but my dad disagrees as it doesn't use buttermilk. He likes to call it a tea bread because that's generally when he eats it, but because it isn't made with tea and doesn't contain yeast I disagree about the whole tea bread theory or even the bread bit to begin with.

It's closest relative is the muffin but because of the size almost everybody disagrees with me. Though if I make individual ones in muffin cases, they'll happily play along.

What everyone does agree on is that it tastes really good, warm or cold and it gets even better as each day passes. It's the perfect little loaf to make in the evening so you can drift off to sleep to the smell of warm cinnamon (perhaps with a slice already in your belly) and wake up to a fat slice for breakfast, spread with a little butter or jam.


Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

1 1/2 cups plain flour (dug in cup fulls from the bag)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white caster sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed firmly)
1 teaspoon bicarb/baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (we love cinnamon but you can half this amount for a more subtle flavour)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine. It's usually easier to scrunch the brown sugar through the rest of the ingredients with your hand.

Place the wet ingredients into a jug or another bowl and again give them a good mix.

Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined, don't worry too much about little lumps, especially where the brown sugar is concerned. Pour the batter into a 2lb loaf tin and spread it around a bit to level it.

This batter starts to rise pretty quickly, even in just the time it takes to mix in the bowl and pour into the tin, the batter will have become almost mousse like. Place the tin in the preheated oven and bake for at least an hour.

It takes about an hour and 15 minutes in my oven, slighter longer in mum's and as much as 90 minutes at a friend's house, but after an hour test for doneness with a skewer. It's ready when moist crumbs cling to the skewer rather than any batter.

Leave it in the tin to cool for about ten minutes and then turn out. It will have a light fluffy crumb on the inside and a crisp crust which softens once it is completely cooled.

Serve hot from the oven, cold the next day or warmed slightly under the grill with or without butter and jam.

You can of course make up this recipe and make individual muffins. It will make about a dozen large muffins and they take about 30 minutes to bake and make a great breakfast on the go.