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I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure!

Monday, May 2, 2011

When life gives you lemons... BAKE!

Have I ever mentioned that my mom thinks she's British. It's true. She has a very British boyfriend and so now she freely uses British terms like "I have to go spend a penny" which translates to "I need to use the restroom." Her boyfriend has his own small business and within that building they started together their own side business called the English Market "where jolly good things happen," and there they sell English wares like teas, jellies, and the ever popular spotted dick. Yes spotted dick. Its a lovey canned sponge cake with raisins. They serve it with clotted cream. The perfect combination, spotted dick with a dollop of clotted cream. Mmmmm creamy. Okay I'm done.

Anyhow they have both come up with the brilliant idea of holding English High Tea services where you get to dress up, wear a kooky hat, and have a beautiful traditional tea service with lots of little mini things to eat.

I'm attending one today where I am making one of the sweets for my mom to serve to her guests, lemon bars. But they aren't your regular 'ol lemon bars, these are called shaker lemon bars which use the entire lemon and are a two day process. Don't let that detour you though these are easy peasy lemon squeezy! These are also different texturally with the little bits of lemon in the filling which I find to be a real taste treat!

I got the recipe online and altered it a bit to fit my pan size and preferences.

Shaker Lemon Bars

  • 2 lemons, washed and dried(I've heard meyer lemons work best but I can't often find them where I live)
  • 2 cups plus 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (my butter was room temp and it was fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Confectioners' sugar, for sifting

Slice lemons as thinly as possible; remove seeds. Toss slices with 2 cups sugar; transfer mixture to a flat resealable plastic container. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

This is what they look like in the morning, all syrupy and delicious.

If using cold butter place it, the salt, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is crumbly and starts to hold together. Or if using room temp like me put it all in a bowl and cut in butter with a fork.

I like to use a BIG fork when I don't have a pastry cutter handy.
I prefer it to using two knives

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 by 17 or a 11 by 16 inch pan. I used an 11 by 16 size. Press dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, making sure there are no holes. There should be at least 1/2-inch crust of dough going up the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Once removed transfer to a wire rack to cool, and use a flat metal spatula to press down the crust so its flat and even, and allow to cool about 15 minutes.

Place lemon-sugar mixture and eggs in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until lemon rinds are in 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces, 30 to 40 seconds. I did mine in a blender and had to blend it in two batches.

Into the blender they go!

Pour mixture over cookie crust. Bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Trim 1/2 inch around edges of pan. Cut into about sixty 1 1/4-by-2-inch pieces. Sift confectioners' sugar over cookies.

They are so pretty!

Plus its a HUGE recipe. This makes about 4-5 dozen depending on the size you want. Enjoy!


  1. Hey, I don't recall getting a sample...these look divine! :) I need to get the recipe--oh, how convenient, there it is! Great blog Katie!

  2. Yum, I want a sample. I love tea parties, I'll come and wear a hat! Oh you know I will Katie!