Recipe: The Holsts' lemon shortcake

17:00, May 29 2012
lemon shortcake
VERSATILE AND ZESTY: A little shortcake goes a long way.

This is our version of a delicious slice given to Alison by a good friend. It tastes great, and is very versatile.

Try serving it warm from the oven (with whipped cream or icecream) for dessert, and then, once cool, cut the rest into fingers or squares.

As a slice it is equally at home packed in a school lunch, served with a cup of coffee, or as part of a "high tea" – perfect for a celebration, such as a royal jubilee.


Base and topping:

1 cup self-raising flour


1 cup standard flour

1 cup sugar

100g cold butter

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp milk


100g butter

2 lemons, grated rind & juice

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 180C (or 170C fan-bake) with rack just below the middle. Line the base and sides of a 23cm-square loose-bottomed cake pan (or pan of similar size) with baking paper.

For base, mix the sifted flours and sugar in a bowl. Grate in the cold butter, then rub it in until it looks like instant oats (or chop in butter cubes in a food processor). Make a well in the centre and add the lightly beaten egg. Add just enough milk so that particles will stick together when pressed, making a dough. Press half this over bottom of pan, keeping the rest to crumble on top.

For filling, melt butter in a medium-sized pot or smallish non-stick pan. Take off heat and beat in the grated lemon rind and juice, sugar and eggs, then heat again, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to a pouring custard. Take off heat as soon as bubbles form. Pour evenly over uncooked base and crumble remaining dough mixture on top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown, until the centre is almost as firm as the edges. Remove from the pan.

When cool dust with icing sugar. Serve large pieces warm for dessert, with whipped cream or icecream. Also delicious served cold in smaller pieces with tea or coffee. Store in a single layer in a loosely covered container, or refrigerate in an airtight container for longer.

The Dominion Post