Two of my favourite ingredients are lemon and butter so it won’t come as a surprise that my tendency not to eat my own baking is overturned when lemon curd or shortbread is involved. If lemon curd is great and shortbread is great, imagine what they’re like together. Imagine no longer.
This slice is a beauty. It’s another that would be on the menu at Beach Rd cafe in Queenstown if, that is, Beach Rd cafe existed anywhere other than in my head and in the pages of Wish You Were Here and Happy Ever After. I’m about to begin writing the next instalment in that series and that means more Kiwi inspired yumminess – like this slice – in the name of research. I haven’t yet landed on a title, so am going with Beach Road for now. Anyways, this slice, along with others like it will be in that book.
It’s not a difficult one to make, but does require a little palaver in waiting time and grating time, but trust me, it’s worth it.
A note on the lemon curd – I used a 420g jar and found that was plenty to go across the slice. If your lemon curd is thicker you might need up to 600g to cover the surface. You only need a thin layer, but it does need to go all the way into the corners.
And for those of you that are interested, the plate I’ve used this week is vintage Colclough, from the 1950’s I think. I love the pink thistles.
What you need…
- 500g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 280g butter, at room temperature
- 220g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- I bottle of lemon curd – about 450g but you may need up to 600g (see the note above)
What you do with it…
Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease and line the base of a slice tin (20cm x 30 cm or thereabouts. My tin is 23cm x 33cm). If you line it so the baking paper overhangs the long side of the tin you can use it to pull the slice out in one go #handyhint.
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until it’s pale and creamy.
- Add the flour (and salt) and mix until it comes together into a dough.
- Take one-third of the dough and flatten it a tad. Wrap it in cling film and pop it in the fridge for now.
- Press the rest of the dough into the base of your tin and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Once cooked you want to allow it to cool completely in the tin.
- Once the base is cool, spread the lemon curd across it. Retrieve the remaining third of the dough from the fridge and grate it across the top of the lemon curd. It looks like a sort of coarse crumble.
- Pop it back into the oven and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the nubbly bits are golden brown. It will need to completely cool in the tin before you can even think about removing it to slice.