Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lemon Square Bars

Kia ora! It’s been too long since my last blog post. I’ve been cooking, but I just haven’t been able to document my food adventures. Among other reasons, I had a well-needed vacation back to Aotearoa- the land of the long white cloud, or as most of us know it, New Zealand.

There is so much I miss about New Zealand-mainly the people-but also the environment, the food, and the lifestyle of kiwis. While I was born in China, New Zealand will always occupy a significant space in my heart. It’s where I first went to school; it’s where I caught my first fish, it’s where I touched a piano for the first time; and it’s where I had my first Tim Tam. It’s where I grew from an innocent 6 year old to a mature (at least I like to think so) 16 year old.

I was propelled to make lemon bars after seeing my beloved lemon tree back in New Zealand. I think it must be a kiwi thing, but most houses in NZ have fruit trees in the garden, the most popular ones being grapefruit and lemon. There is something special about going out to the garden, picking the brightest, juiciest looking lemon, taking it back into the kitchen and turning it into a dessert. In my garden we have a lemon tree, a tangelo tree, and a feijoa tree. Feijoa is one of the fruits that I miss the most. It’s somewhat similar to a guava, but so much better. Every autumn when the fruit is in season, families start to sell it outside on their front lawn, and mothers start to experiment with it, creating recipes like feijoa bread.

I wish I could’ve brought some lemons from my lemon tree back to the US, but customs would never have allowed it. No worries though, lemons are plenty abundant in the US too. Maybe these lemon treats aren’t quite as good as they could’ve been had I had my own lemons on hand, but they’re still pretty darn good.


1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 cups flour

4 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup lemon juice


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the olive oil and sugar together. Add the flour, and stir until mixed well. Form into balls and flatten onto a 9x13 baking pan.
3. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden.
4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs well. Add in the sugar and sift in flour. Pour lemon juice in and mix well.
5. Pour onto the prepared crust and return into the oven for 30 minutes, or until set. Cool completely before slicing.

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