pile of lemons

Min-ma’s lemon slice, and variations

Blog and recipe from the lovely Emmaline Gallagher, UNE Life, Functions & Catering

“Min-ma” was my first attempt at the word ‘grandma’ – and the name stuck!

She would make this lemon slice for us kids around Christmas time, and any time, because we loved it! This recipe is perfect for summertime because it’s cold-set – no baking! Who wants an oven going for hours in Australia in the middle of December?? No, thanks.

After the kids had raided the container, Min-ma would dutifully hide any remaining slice from the festively overweight (and consequently diabetic) “Poppa” – who would inevitably sniff them out. This was my introduction to tongue-in-cheek humour – watching Min-ma bust Poppa tucking into the lemon slice, and listening to him blame a ‘low blood sugar emergency!’

Hmm… yes, very convincing… – Em.


  • 250g packet milk arrowroot plain biscuits
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 125g butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut


  • 1 ¾ cups icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Process bickies until the chunkiest bits are about pea-sized.
  2. In a small saucepan, gently heat sweetened condensed milk and butter, stirring until smooth.
  3. Combine contents of saucepan with coconut, crushed bickies and lemon zest. Mix well and press into a slice tin.
  4. To make the icing, sift icing mixture into a bowl and add just enough lemon juice to form a paste. Use immediately. Add icing and smooth top.
  5. Refrigerate until firm before slicing into squares.

Because this is my ‘just like grandma used to make’ favourite food, I’ve been known to eat this until the idea of one more bite is truly sickening. However, not to be outdone by something as trivial as an overdose, I instead make variations:

  • Orange and ginger – replace lemon juice and zest with orange juice and zest, and add about 1/3 cup of chopped crystallised ginger to the base mix.
  • Cranberry, white chocolate and pistachio – omit lemon zest, add 2/3 cup of cranberries, ½ cup white chocolate chips and ½ cup pistachios to base. Use icing as directed, or replace icing with a layer of melted white chocolate.
  • Cherry and brandy – omit lemon zest and juice. Add 2/3 cup chopped glace cherries to base mix. Use brandy (or such) as the liquid for icing.
  • Apricot and almond – omit lemon juice and zest. Add ½ cup each of chopped dried apricots and slivered or flaked almonds to base. TIP: toast almonds until fragrant and golden before adding to the base mix.
  • Pecan and maple – omit lemon juice and zest. Add 1 cup chopped pecans and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to base mix. Use maple syrup us the liquid for icing mixture.
  • Walnut and date – omit lemon juice and zest. Add ½ cup each of chopped walnuts and chopped dried dates. Use butter or maple as icing mixture liquid.
  • Citrus and poppy seed – use half lemon half orange juice and zest for the recipe. Add 1/3c poppy seeds to base, and sprinkle poppy seeds over icing to decorate.


We want to see what your slice looks like, tag us @lifefunctionscatering and we will share them in our stories!

PS: If you’re in Armidale, don’t forget to drop into The Shop, we’ve just launched a little range of delectable pickles, relishes, and jams!