Sunday, June 14, 2020

Lemon, Lime and Bitters Slice

... we must look upwards and outwards at all times, caring for others, seeking wonder and stalking awe, every day, to find the magic that will sustain us and fuel the light within - our own phosphorescence. (Julia Baird, p179 Phosphorescence - on awe, wonder & things that sustain us when the world goes dark)

I took one look at the exquisite cover dish of the June 2020 edition of Woolworths Fresh magazine and instantly knew that I had to make it. That dish is a Lemon, Lime and Bitters Slice. For the uninitiated, Lemon, Lime and Bitters is a popular non-alcoholic drink, often served in pubs and hotels, and made with lemonade, Angostura bitters and lime juice. I once tried to order one in the US, and after the puzzled waiter asked me twice, was served a soda water. I can therefore only assume that he did not know what a Lemon, Lime and Bitters is.

The magazine version of this slice  is no bake, with a biscuit base, but I wanted to make this slice gluten free to share with some friends, so I made a pastry base instead.

On top of the base sits a sharp but opulent lemon and lime curd, and the slice is crowned with a jewel-coloured jelly flavoured with Angostura bitters.  To me, that jelly is luminous, emanating its own light - hence prompting the quote above from Julia Baird’s excellent non-fiction book, Phosphorescence.  

I thought this slice was delicious, but it didn’t travel well - when I arrived at my friend’s house, all the jelly had slid off the top and had to be rather messily replaced. No matter - it is a great recipe and worth making if you like citrus flavours.

To make my version, you will need:

1 batch Maggie Beer’s sour cream pastry (made with gluten free flour)
3 lemons
2 limes
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon gelatine powder
125g butter, cubed


2 tablespoons Angostura bitters
1 cup lemonade
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons gelatine powder

Grease a 27.5cm x 17.5cm rectangular slice tin and line it with baking paper, leaving an overhang on each long side to use as handles to lift the slice out later.

Roll out the pastry and line the base of the pan with the pastry, trimming off any excess with a knife (leave a small allowance for shrinkage). Dock the pastry and bake in accordance with the instructions at the recipe link. Allow the base to cool fully.

For the curd, zest and juice the lemons and limes.  Put the zest, juice, sugar and eggs into a medium saucepan and stir to combine. 

In a small bowl, mix the gelatine with 1 tablespoon of warm water, and set aside.

Put the saucepan with the juice mixture on the stove over low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thick custard.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the gelatine until dissolved. Stir in the butter, cube by cube, until fully integrated into the curd.

Pour the curd through a sieve over the pastry base, then chill in the fridge.

In the meantime, make the jelly.  Put the gelatine in a small bowl and combine with two tablespoons of warm water. Put the bitters, lemonade and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir through the gelatine until it is fully dissolved. Pour the jelly into a jug and allow it to cool completely at room temperature.

Once the jelly is cooled, pour it gently and evenly over the top of the curd layer. Spread it out with a small spatula if necessary. Return the slice to the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours or until the jelly is set.

Remove the slice carefully from the pan, using the paper handles, and place it on a chopping board. Use a long sharp knife to cut the slice into 16 bars, wiping the blade clean between cuts to keep the slice looking pristine. 

Serve and enjoy!


1 comment:

  1. Lemon, Lime and Bitter Slice - sounds so different and looks exquisite! I had never heard of this non-alcoholic drink before your post but I am certainly intrigued now. How nice that you shared these with your friends, I am sure you received raving reviews for these beauties!
    Have a wonderful weekend,


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