Once you've grasped the idea behind a classic recipe, the temptation to play around with it begins to creep in. This was the case of classic lemon bars, which I'd made so many times that I couldn't help but think: surely it's time to get experimental. The inspiration came from this blog, which, instead of a lemony custard topping, used lovely, tart red currants. I wanted even more vivid colours in my variation: so a matcha-tinged shortbread base and an almost magenta pink raspberry custard. Crumbs, they were good.
- 1 3/4 cups plain flour
- 2/3 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp matcha powder
- 170g unsalted buter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed raspberry juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp flour
1. For the shortbread base: combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds until you get a sandy consistency. Pour into a 9" x 13" pan lined with parchment paper, distribute evenly then press down gently with floured fingertips or with the bottom of a ramekin. Refridgerate for about 30 minutes then bake at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.
2. For the topping: press the raspberries through a fine sieve or cheesecloth - you're looking to get about 1/2 of a cup of fresh, seed-free juice. In a medium bowl, stir the sugar with the flour, then whisk in the eggs. Add the lemon zest, juices, milk and whisk to blend.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees. Pour the filling onto the warm crust and bake for about 20 minutes until the custard is almost set. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting with a knife, wiping - or licking - it clean between each cut.