lemon poppyseed squares

Every time we have a work morning tea I can't decide whether I should make an old favourite or whether I should try out something new. So a few weeks ago I decided to make an old favourite but with a twist - tart lemon squares with a lemon poppyseed crust. 

Lemon and poppy seeds are a natural pairing so I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when I found other recipes for lemon poppyseed bars on the web. I made my normal lemon squares and added poppy seeds to the base but I wasn't happy with the first attempt - the crust was too hard and the topping was a bit gluey and not sufficiently lemony. So I made them again tweaking the proportions quite a bit.

There is very little flour in the topping so it's quite soft. If you'd like a firmer topping you might want to add another tablespoon of flour but the colour of the topping will be less vibrant.

The sugar content is also less than most lemon bars so these lemon squares are quite tart but I think that makes them all the better.

Here's the recipe for you. Make sure the base is still a bit warm when you add the topping or else it will go haywire! 

In all my recipes, I use a 20 ml tablespoon, a 250 ml cup and 60 gram eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan forced oven, you'll need to switch off your fan or drop the oven temperature by at least 20°C.

Lemon Poppy Seed Squares
110 grams (4 oz) unsalted butter
⅓ cup icing sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 cup Plain Flour
1 tbl poppy seeds

Grease and line an 8 inch (20 cm) square tin with baking paper or tin foil.

In a food processor, combine the butter, icing sugar and grated lemon rind and process until smooth. Add the flour and process until a dough is formed, then add the poppy seeds. Whiz a few times until the poppy seeds are incorporated, then press into the tin. If you don't have a food processor you can make this by just creaming the butter and sugar in a bowl before adding the remaining ingredients.

Bake at 180°C/350°F (conventional oven) for about 20 minutes or until the base is lightly browned. Put to one side while you make the topping.

1 cup caster sugar
1½ tablespoons flour
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
4 eggs
½ cup of lemon juice
Icing sugar

Lower the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F (conventional oven).

In a bowl stir together the sugar, the flour and the grated lemon rind until combined. Add the eggs gradually and mix to a smooth paste. Finally stir in the lemon juice and mix until combined. Pour the mixture over the warm cooked base and return to the oven. Bake until cooked, about 20-30 minutes. While still warm, sift with icing sugar. 

Allow to cool before cutting into squares or bars. You may need to re-coat the bars with icing sugar just before serving. 
Makes 16 bars or squares.

Christmas seems to be just around the corner. The shops are decked out in Christmas baubles and I heard my first Christmas carol on Saturday. I've made a start on the Christmas baking and this coming weekend it's time to tackle the Christmas card list. Where has this year gone?

To all my US readers, have a Happy Thanksgiving.

See you all again next week,



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