When I was at school, having a ‘great’ day rather than the generic ‘good’ (how infuriating it must be as a parent – ‘how was your day?’….. ‘good’), was often dependant on what was in my lunchbox. The only thing to top this, was finding a way not to partake in house swimming. Swimming is not my speciality – ask any of my friends ever.
One of the ultimate treats, and something that was the maker of a truly great day, was discovering mum’s lemon slice tucked away in my lunch box.
Lemon slice is something you’d find in a country Victorian town’s lone little cafe – I know it looks a bit basic (for want of a better word), and this definitely isn’t a healthy snack, but it is truly wonderful. Living in London, I hadn’t had it for years but on remaking it for the first time, my boyfriend Kenny consumed the entire batch 😐 that is a lot of condensed milk for one man.
The recipe is SUPER simple and pretty much fail-safe. Even if you’d never cooked before I think this would be completely manageable. One of the best things about it is that it freezes REALLY well. They last for a couple of months in the freezer – just make sure you pre-cut them. I plan to try and make a slightly healthier version at some point – but I have no doubt that nothing will ever compare to the original recipe.
To crush the biscuits I use a food processor as it’s quick and easy. Also be careful to keep the heat low when you’re making the icing, on one occasion I wasn’t paying attention and left the kitchen only to come back and find lemon jam.
The 8th step of this recipe, not included below, but shared by mum was ‘hide it from everyone because its sooooo yummy.’
- 100 g butter
- 395 g can of sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 400 g plain sweet/tea biscuits
- 1.5 cups dedicated coconut
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 2 lemons, zest
Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm baking dish / tray (at least 3cm deep).
Place butter and the condensed milk in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until smooth. Add in 1 tbsp of lemon juice, remove from heat and set aside.
Pulse the biscuits in a food processor - you want to end up with some of it sandy and fine, and some still in 1-2cm chunks. Add 1 cup of desicated coconut to the biscuit and tip into a large bowl.
Stir in the condensed milk mixture then tip into a prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly and evenly down - you can use a spoon, but I usually finish it with my fingers.
To make lemon icing: combine icing sugar, lemon zest and 2 tbsp lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat, adding a little tablespoon of water to wet the mixture. Stir until mixture is warmed through and completely smooth (make sure not to cook it into jam though!).
Remove from heat and pour over base immediately (try and create an even layer), top with the remaining 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut.
Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cut into slices before serving.