Lemon slice makes me happy. I don’t know what it is – perhaps the sickening combination of icing sugar, condensed milk and sugary biscuits? I am a sweet tooth after all (comes with the name). But maybe also the childish simplicity of it (it’s really just a combination of pre-packaged foods, and there’s no real baking involved)? Or maybe it’s just the purely brilliant combination of lemon and sugar? Think about it: how many lemon-themed desserts or cakes can you name? I’m willing to bet there are at least 50 out there, and there’s a good reason for it: it just works so well! Also, just as a side note, apparently lemon and sugar makes a great face scrub too – tasty and practical, what more could you want?
But, as a baker, shouldn’t I have some incredibly high standard that means I refuse to eat anything that doesn’t have a “foam” in it or isn’t “deconstructed”? Absolutely not. And I’m not kidding at all! I mean, I am a snob in many ways, and I certainly have high standards for food, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like simple food. I won’t snub good, simple food in favour of complex dishes with truffle oil or macerated kale! The food (baked or otherwise) that makes me the happiest isn’t all that convoluted stuff you see on Masterchef; it’s simple, basic food that I love most! Food shouldn’t have to be pulled, prodded, poached, pan-fried and sous-vided to taste good. Good food is simple food (especially when you don’t actually have to bake anything)!
And so, with it’s amazing simplicity and wondrous flavour combination, I give you the never-to-be-underestimated lemon slice (*regal applause*).
Makes 16 squares | Allow 30 minutes
100g unsalted butter
250g plain sweet biscuits (e.g. Marie, Nice, Teddy Bear)
zest of 1 or 2 lemons depending on how much you love lemon
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 tin condensed milk
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
50g unsalted butter
- Line a 15cm x 25cm pan with baking paper, set aside.
- Melt butter in the microwave or in a saucepan.
- Place biscuits in a food processor and blitz until finely processed.
- Add butter, zest, coconut and condensed milk and pulse until combined.
- Press mixture into the prepared tin making sure to press firmly into all the corners and smooth the top. Set aside.
- Make the lemon icing: Melt the butter in a microwave or saucepan.
- Add the lemon juice and icing sugar. Stir with a fork until combined and all the lumps are removed. Add more icing sugar if it’s too runny, or more lemon juice if it’s too firm.
- Spread the icing over the slice and leave to firm in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then cut into squares and serve.
- This recipe can be easily doubled to use up the rest of the tin of condensed milk.
- This slice can be kept in the fridge or at room temperature for a week.
- Lemon slice freezes really well either as a slab or cut up. Make sure you eliminate as much air as possible. Freeze for a maximum of 4 weeks.