News just in: you can get your greens from eating cake. No, really. Cake that tastes nice. These lemon-curd filled bars get their green stripe with the addition of spinach to the shortbread base. Almost virtuous!
SPINACH AND LEMON BARS
75g spinach leaves
75g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra to finish
115g plain flour
FOR THE FILLING
4 large free-range eggs
200g granulated sugar
150ml lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
3 tbsp lemon zest
40g plain flour
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp icing sugar, to serve
1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.
2 Wilt the spinach in a pan with a small amount of boiling water, then run under cold water to refresh, before squeezing out the moisture. Purée with a hand blender until smooth.
3 In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth, but not too fluffy and aerated. Add the spinach pureé and beat well. Sift in the flour and mix gently.
4 Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread to the edges and press down firmly with the back of a damp spoon. Be sure that the mixture goes right into all the edges and there aren’t any holes. Bake for 25 mins, or until the edges begin to turn golden.
5 Meanwhile, make the lemon filling by whisking the eggs and sugar in a saucepan until well combined, then add the lemon juice and zest and gently whisk until completely incorporated. Gradually sift in the flour, whisking gently to combine, and add the butter. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened and the butter has melted.
6 Spoon the mixture over the warm crust, spread evenly to the edges and bake for 25 mins, or until the edges begin to turn golden. The filling will firm up as it cools. Leave to cool completely in the pan, then dust with the icing sugar and cut into squares to serve.
Recipe and photography from Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy (Pavilion)
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