Lemon slice and Happy Birthday Libby

cutting in butter

She’s leaving home, 156pp.
by Monica Trápaga
Penguin Group Australia, Camberwell Victoria, 2009
Cooking on page 32

Our two daughters have moved away from home. Libby cooks a lot. Petra cooks when she has to, and happily receives contributions that I have made.

I liked the thought/premise behind this cookbook and checked it out from the local library.

I’m making page 32 today for Libby’s birthday. I can’t be there in France to make her a cake, but I can do this long distance. 🙂

lemon slice with strawberries

Lemon slice

Shortbread base
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup icing sugar
350 g butter

6 large eggs
2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
icing sugar, for dusting

sifting flour butter limes and zest squeezing limes slice filling mixture

Preheat oven to 200°C.

For the shortbread base, sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a large bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and gradually add to the flour mixture, mixing in with a pastry blender or running together with your fingers.

Press the dough into a baking tin that is t least 3 cm deep (you don’t have to grease the pan as this recipe already contains a lot of butter). Bake for about 12–15 minutes until golden, then remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, then gradually add the sugar. When the mixture is a lemon-yellow colour, add the lemon zest and gently fold in the juice. Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and fold together until combined.

Pour the filling over the hot crust and return it to the oven to cook for 25 minutes. When cooked, let the slice cool completely in the pan before dusting with icing sugar. Cut into squares with a sharp knife before turning out.

Makes at least 24.

How it played out
I love the lemon slices that are sold in Australian bakeries, so I thought I’d give this recipe a go on behalf of Libby’s birthday. She’s in France now, so I’m mentally teleporting this to her.

Except for using limes instead of lemons, I made the recipe as written. There was really no need to change a thing, but I wanted to use up a bounty of limes given to me by a friend. Thanks Barb.

The recipe came together easily and quickly, but I gave up trying to cut in the butter. It worked much better to rub it in with my fingertips.

She's Leaving Home cookbook

My only complaint/comment is that if you’re writing a cookbook for your daughter who is moving out of home, the least you can do is tell her what size pan she needs to use for this recipe.

I used a 9 x 13-inch pan and could have used an even bigger one because the shortbread base was quite thick. In fact, I think the amounts for the base could be cut in half and the result be just as effective.

That said, it made a great dessert. Served after a lunch featuring cucumber and salmon bites and my famous lasagne (not a page-32 recipe).

The slice is full of flavour and looks great served with strawberries and cream. I suspect I will make it often, but will try adjusting the base. Stay tuned for follow-up.

P.S. Happy Birthday for yesterday, Libby. I appreciate the other page 32-recipes you’ve made. The Prinzregententorte recipe you and Daniel made is one of the two most visited pages on this blog.

I won’t soon forget that you got married and moved to France while I was in India. 🙂


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Baking, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Snack, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lemon slice and Happy Birthday Libby

  1. Rhonda says:

    Yum! I love lemon slice! It looks delicious served with the strawberries, and I can imagine that the limes worked really well. That’s a lot of butter in the base, though.

  2. Vicki says:

    Superb food photography. Those strawberries look divine.

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