One of the things I love about recreating recipes from my grandma’s recipe book is that there are minimal instructions. Usually this would be a problem for me because I love to know details, but in this scenario I am enjoying the surprise of each bake. I am usually in for a fair bit of trial and error, but I am finding I am learning lots from the experience.
This Lemon and Marshmallow bar was a big time learning curb for me!
The only aspect of this Lemon and Marshmallow Bar I was confident of was the marshmallow. This was due to a previously terrible marshmallow cook-up. I learnt from this experience that marshmallow pretty much sets like super glue. If you wait at all it will set and you won’t be able to spread it. So, this time as soon as I finished mixing the marshmallow I worked quickly, not allowing my 6 year old to spread it like I normally would. Even with my quick work, the marshmallow was beginning to set and sticking when smoothed in the final stages of the spread (I did double the recipe, though). In future, I think I will place my tray next to the cook top and spread the marshmallow while still keeping it warm on the freshly turned off gas outlet.
My learning curb this time was with the biscuit mixture and the filling (the 2 other parts, lol). My biscuit mixture was more like breadcrumbs than a dough when it was ready for rolling. Rather than research why this was, I just hoped for the best and pressed the mixture into the baking tray. When I removed the tray from the oven following baking, there were a number of cracks in the base. There wasn’t anything I could do about it at this point, so I just further hoped that the filling and marshmallow would hold the biscuit base together like concrete :p
*I have since learned that if your biscuit base is too crumbly, add some melted butter or a little water and this helps the mixture to hold together and form a dough. In the end, my biscuit base tasted great and no one was aware of my dry base dilemma. It might have been moistened up by my too watery filling lol. More of that in the next paragraph….
For the filling, I followed all grandma’s directions but my filling was too watery. This might have been because I juiced the lemons hard. I wanted to make the most of the beautiful lemons we had been gifted from a neighbour (it’s citrus season here in Australia). Again, rather than research why it was this way I pressed on and spread my watery filling over my cracked base. Now my hopes were hinged on the marshmallow holding everything together.
*I have since learned that I needed to add a little more custard powder to help thicken the filling. Also, play around with your lemon juice amounts if your lemons are generous. My slice was very tart from all the juice I was able to extract, so I think half the amount of lemons might have been fine.
The final stage was making the marshmallow. I gathered one of my daughters and my nephew, and we started measuring together. We placed the marshmallow mixture on the gas top and turned up the heat. I told the kids to run off and play until the boiling and cooling process was complete.
Finally we came to the funnest part of this recipe: whipping the marshmallow! I called my nephew and daughter back, and allowed them to help me use the beaters. It is lots of fun watching the clear syrup turn to white and thicken. The rest of the siblings gathered round, salivating at the thought of all that marshmallow and taking turns with the beaters. When the mixture was smooth, glossy and thick I know it was really to spread. As mentioned earlier, I worked quickly to ensure my marshmallow mixture wouldn’t set mid-spread.
The Lemon and Marshmallow Bar was now all ready for devouring! With my double-batch I had plenty to share with my visiting relatives and neighbours (who always enjoy a sweet treat). We all sat down to enjoy the sweet and tart flavour combination of this bar. Fresh is best.
- 1½ cups Self-rising (Self-raising) flour
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 dessertspoon butter
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice 2 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbs gelatine
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add egg, then sifted flour.
- Mix into dough.
- Roll out and put on a scone tray.
- Prick well and cook in hot oven.
- Put these ingredients into saucepan.
- Add 3 level dessertspoons of custard powder, mixed with a little water.
- Boil for 2 mins.
- Let cool.
- Spread over biscuit base.
- Boil together for 5 mins.
- Let cool for a couple of minutes and whip it up.
- Spread over lemon filling.