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Recipe: When you got lemons, make lemon bars

July 13th, 2012 · 2 Comments

The recipe for these lemon squares is a two-step recipe. Just follow the simple instructions.

Tart and tasy lemon bars. Photo: Innis O’Grady/Gleaner News

By Susan Oppenheim

After moving to Costa Rica—a country known internationally for its produce—I was stunned to find out one cannot buy lemons. There are enormous varieties of limes—green, orange, even yellow ones—but, oddly, no marketed lemons.

After four years of living there, when a neighbour brought me a bag of unsprayed, misshapen, gnarly lemons from his garden, I was so overjoyed I cooked, baked, and shared everything I could think of with my circle of friends. I generously shared lemon curd, lemon sauce, lemon meringue pie and the best recipe of all Lemon Bars.

I used to love lemons simply for their vibrant taste, but the complexity of this fruit is fascinating. There is an essential oil derived by cold pressing lemon peels that is available in specialty stores like The Body Shop, Whole Foods, and other health food stores. This can be applied topically to abolish acne, and treat canker sores.

By adding a little honey to it you can treat itchiness of a bug bite. Lemon oil also has pain-relieving qualities that inhibit inflammation and ease pain. One would massage the affected area daily with several drops of lemon oil mixed with one tablespoon (15ml) of jojoba oil.

Pain Issues? Drink the freshly squeezed juice of one lemon in a glass of lukewarm water 3 times a day and if you experience severe pain add the juice of two lemons three times a day.

For stomach ailments, drinking 1 freshly squeezed lemon in a glass of lukewarm water after each meal will stimulate the production of stomach acid and the activity of stomach muscles. Lemon juice relieves anxiety, reduces fever symptoms, fights fatigue, and helps treat the winter blues.

Halitosis? Chew a lemon slice. And if you want to whiten your white clothes,soak them in hot water with a slice of lemon for 10 minutes

When choosing lemons, pick the heaviest ones as they have the most juice. Soaking them in hot water for an hour  or microwaving on high for 20 seconds releases twice the juice.

Lemon peels or the zest contain as much as five to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice. By freezing the  whole lemon, then grating it on top of your dishes, you can consume all of those nutrients and get even healthier. Lemon peel is good for  making you slimmer, or adding healthy fat if you are skinny. Lemon peels are health rejuvenators in eradicating toxic elements in the body and boost the immune system,aiding in the recovery of of flu and colds. Grate the rind or zest before tossing the shells after juicing, and store in your freezer in tightly tied baggies.

Many professional chefs are using the entire lemon, wasting nothing. They simply place a lemon in the freezer, grate the whole lemon once frozen—no need to peel it—and sprinkle it on top of prepared foods. Everything will develop a more complex  taste, something that you may have never tasted before in your life.

And for the sweet tooth: lemon bars.

Norene Gilletz’s Lemon Squares, with an Oppenheim Touch
1 cup cold butter  cut in chunks
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar

4 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2-3  tablespoons roughly grated zest (outer peel)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a 2 step recipe. For the base, process the ingredients in a food processor until crumbly, about 20 seconds. If you do not have a processor you can cut it fine with pastry blades. Press into a sprayed or greased and floured rectangular 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Place pan in center of oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add the topping.

For the topping, process those ingredients with a hand mixer or blender until blended, about 10 seconds. Scrape the sides to blend smoothly. Pour evenly over the base. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Cut when cool.

Tags: Annex · Food

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alice fine ...aka arlee // Aug 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    can these be frozen

  • 2 susan oppenheim // Mar 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    they freeze beautifully-just do not cut them small-keep the slices ample