February 23, 2014
My gorgeous Meyer Lemon tree still has lemons left to harvest, and I could not resist giving this recipe a try. I eliminated gluten from my diet about 8 months ago, and I have been finding my way. I have been working very hard not to simply substitute gluten free goods for all of the delightful wheat products I enjoyed my whole life. You see I really, really want this to become my lifestyle. I feel better–my digestion is better, my moods are better, my cravings and sense of hunger have changed, all in a positive way. It was a huge change for me, just to be willing to give this a try. How could it be possible that the Staff of Life was making me ill? How could it be that something so central to my diet, my entire life, something I probably at every other meal, how could it be wreaking havoc on my digestive system? I just could not believe it, I love everything about wheat and I grew up on it, plain and simple. But I began the journey, I try not to obsess about it, I try not to talk about it…I love to fit in, it is just about my favorite thing fitting in. It’s just never been in the cards for me :)
Every few weeks I experiment with a recipe to see how it will work substituting the flours that “agree” with me. I wanted to post this one up for you and if time allows, I will continue to post them up. I hope you try this one. Feel free to use glorious wheat flour as I am sure it will improve the taste and texture, but if you are watching like I am….this is a great alternative.
Adapted very slightly from the Joy of Baking
Recipe for Meyer Lemon Dessert Bars
8 X 8 Dish
Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees
For Shortbread Crust:
4 oz Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup of Cup-4-Cup GF Flour or make Jeanne’s Recipe
Pinch of Kosher Salt
For the Filling:
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Fresh Lemon Juice (2 medium lemons)
2 Tsp Lemon Zest (from your fresh lemons, zest before juicing)
2 Tablespoons Cup-4-Cup or Jeanne’s Gluten Free Flour Mix
Touch of Confectioner’s Sugar for sprinkling
Prepare 8 X 8 Dish, spray with cooking spray or use parchment if you have it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
This is a very simple method using your stand mixer. Add butter and sugar to the mixer bowl, blend until light in color. Slowly add flour and salt and mix until you see crumbles form, at this point stop the mixer. Pour into the 8 x 8 dish and press into center and ends evenly. Place in the oven and begin to check at 20 minutes, my crust took about 23 minutes in my oven. Remove and place on the oven while you prepare the filling.
Using your stand mixer again, add sugar and eggs to the bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest slowly. Shut the mixer, take bowl off stand and fold in the 2 tablespoons of flour–I sifted my flour ahead of time so it incorporated beautifully. Pour this filling over the shortbread crust and bake for 19 minutes and check for doneness, mine started to brown ever so slightly and I left it in for the full 20 minutes of cook time in the original recipe.
Cool the pan and dust ever so lightly with confectioner’s sugar. I found the bars to be sweet and I am so glad I did not overdo this step :) The powder makes them prettier for sure. I recommend placing these in the refrigerator within a few hours if you are not going to serve them right away.
These bars did have a bit of “grain” to them (in terms of a rich shortbread), but for those that are doing a gluten free diet (especially me), I am so willing to overlook a bit of imperfection in the texture in order to indulge in a sweet treat that I remember from my pre-gluten free days.
My beautiful tree holds fast to its lemons and lets me enjoy them in treats like these for several months past their season.