It is that time of the year again when the markets are full of limes and lemons…and the air is citrusy and tangy. I am somewhat luckier as in my backyard, there is a lovely old lemon bush full of lemons. The branches bow down with the weight and everyday, a bucket full of lemons comes into our kitchen. Nimbu pani or lemonade is the drink of the day. The ground beneath this knotty plant is covered with wonderful scented leaves, both dried and fresh. The thorns though troublesome are no deterrent to our hands, reaching out for… aaahhh… that lovely lovely ripe lemon, absolutely full with gorgeous juice, yes, there, that one…
With so much lemon in the house, after I’ve done the usual preserving with salt (a huge bottle filled with cut lemons and topped with salt), I usually make lemon bars, a favourite with the kids. I find this one of the simplest desserts to make and even though I honestly don’t have any idea about the number of calories in it, I feel it’s very low-cal (very little butter and that’s all the fat involved).You’ll need
For the base:
1/3 cup butter (you can use margarine too but why bother? 😛 )
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
For the filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp lemon zest (fine)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar to dust (optional)
Beat butter for 30 seconds with an electric beater for 30 seconds. Add the 1/4 cup sugar and beat till combined. Beat in the 1 cup flour till it resembles breadcrumbs. Press mixture into the bottom of an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350deg F (180 deg C) oven for 15 to 18 minutes till just brown around the edges (Keep checking…shouldn’t get too brown).
Meanwhile, combine all ingredients of filling (2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp lemon zest, 2 tbsp flour and 1/4 tsp baking powder) in a small mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes. Pour this over the baked base. Bake for 20 minutes or till top is set. You can now sift icing sugar on top. Cut into squares or bars and ENJOY!!!