Alison Holst’s Lemon Square

——————-UPDATED, ORIGINAL POST BELOW——————-

Welcome!

I decided that since this was the most popular recipe on my blog, it was probably time it got updated with some slightly nicer photos! I’m really not that into food photography (who has time for that?! I want to taste my food, not look at it!). I know this post is only getting so many hits because I’m kind of piggy backing off Dame Alison Holst’s reputation, but I honestly mean this as a respectful tribute to her. So, thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you find this recipe helpful. It really is delicious!

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This slice consists of a shortbread base with a sticky lemon topping. Very tasty.

I wrote this post when I had found out that Dame Alison Holst, the great Kiwi cook, had dementia and was no longer cooking. I grew up learning to cook and bake from her recipe books. Her recipes truly are for the ‘everyday cook’- they don’t require any particularly fancy ingredients, nor great skill and always seem to turn out delicious. I actually spend a large amount of my time thinking about neurodegenerative diseases, as my PhD project is about Parkinson’s disease.

I thought it would be great to honour Alison Holst by including one of her recipes on my blog. Here is the recipe for Lemon Squares from Simon and Alison Holst’s 100 Favourite Muffins & Slices.

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A perfect winter treat!

This lemon slice is super easy to prepare. It is slightly sour, not outrageously sweet and has a sticky custardy topping. In the recipe book, she recommends skipping this recipe if you don’t have a food processor. I think you could still get away with making it without- just use your fingers to combine the base mix and turn it to the consistency of breadcrumbs. For the topping, instead of relying on your food processor to chop up the lemon peel, zest your own lemon and add it straight. I have to do this anyway as my food processor is not very powerful.

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All packed up and ready to share with loved ones! The reason I bake ❤

Alison Holst’s Lemon Square

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 125g butter, cubed

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • rind of 1/2 a lemon (use a potato peeler). Use zest instead, if not using food processor.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 self-raising flour

Instructions

For the base:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C or 150°C fan-bake.
  2. Line a 23cm square pan with baking paper. Don’t cut the corners as the topping will leak out.
  3. Add the ingredients to the food processor and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and butter is evenly distributed through the dry ingredients.
  4. Tip into the pan, spread out evenly and press down with the back of a spoon, or your hands, until firm and flat.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until straw-coloured.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the topping.

For the topping:

  1. Pour sugar into the dry, unwashed food processor and add the lemon rind. Process until the rind is finely chopped.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
  3. Pour over the partially cooked base and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the centre doesn’t wobble.
  4. Allow to cool and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

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——————————ORIGINAL POST——————————-

lemon square 2

This week I was saddened to learn that Dame Alison Holst, the great Kiwi cook has got dementia and is no longer cooking. I grew up learning to cook and bake from her recipe books. Her recipes truly are for the ‘everyday cook’- they don’t require any particularly fancy ingredients, nor great skill and always seem to turn out delicious. I actually spend a large amount of my time thinking about neurodegenerative diseases, as my PhD project is about Parkinson’s disease.

I thought it would be great to honour Alison Holst by including one of her recipes on my blog. Here is the recipe for Lemon Squares from Simon and Alison Holst’s 100 Favourite Muffins & Slices.

lemon square 3

This lemon slice is super easy to prepare. It is slightly sour, not outrageously sweet and has a sticky custardy topping. In the recipe book, she recommends skipping this recipe if you don’t have a food processor. I think you could still get away with making it without- just use your fingers to combine the base mix and turn it to the consistency of breadcrumbs. For the topping, instead of relying on your food processor to chop up the lemon peel, zest your own lemon and add it straight. I have to do this anyway as my food processor is not very powerful.

Alison Holst’s Lemon Square

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 125g butter, cubed

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • rind of 1/2 a lemon (use a potato peeler). Use zest instead, if not using food processor.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 self-raising flour

Instructions

For the base:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C or 150°C fan-bake.
  2. Line a 23cm square pan with baking paper. Don’t cut the corners as the topping will leak out.
  3. Add the ingredients to the food processor and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and butter is evenly distributed through the dry ingredients.
  4. Tip into the pan, spread out evenly and press down with the back of a spoon until firm and flat.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until straw-coloured.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the topping.

For the topping:

  1. Pour sugar into the dry, unwashed food processor and add the rind. Process until the rind is finely chopped.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
  3. Pour over the partially cooked base and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the centre doesn’t wobble.
  4. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

lemon square 1

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5 thoughts on “Alison Holst’s Lemon Square”

  1. Yum, I made these today and they turned out well! I was worried the base was too dry but it was OK in the end. Easy and tasty, thanks for the inspiration and ideas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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