Summer is coming! It’s my favorite time of year. I love the sun and pools and summer fruits and vegetables. It’s time for lemonade, basil pesto, salads, watermelon and all things cool.
When it comes to dessert, a refreshing cool lemon pastry will do the trick. These lovely lemon bars are sweet, tart and the pastry is flaky and delicious.
This recipe is dedicated to the memory of Margaret Maisano. She made these lemon bars every Christmas and gave them as gifts to her family and friends. The mother-in-law of my life long best friend, Isabel, Margaret was a true pro at all things mom. She taught me a lot about delicious food and caring for others. While this recipe is changed to fit those of us with food allergies, the elements are still here as Margaret used to make them. Enjoy this fantastic adapted version from fresh lemons this summer.
Here’s what you will need:
For the Pastry:
2 Cups Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 sticks of Earth Balance butter substitute
½ Cup powdered sugar
For the lemon topping:
1 ½ Cups Organic Sugar
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2/3 Cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely chopped lemon rind
Preheat your oven to 350.
Using the Mixa, place the flour in the bowl and add the xanthan gum. Turn on the bowl setting to low and the hand mixer on low as well. It’s fun to watch how seamlessly the ingredients get blended together with the bowl and blades turning in opposite directions.
Next, add the powdered sugar.
Next, chop up the butter into cubes and add to the mixing bowl bit by bit as the Mixa turns – again with both the bowl and the hand mixer on low.
Keep mixing the dough until it starts to come together then stop the Mixa. The dough will look like this.
Now, grease a 9×13 baking pan with Earth Balance butter (you can use a glass or a metal pan). Roll the dough into a big ball and place it on the greased pan right in the middle.
Now, press down on the dough and work it to the sides of the pan, evenly covering the pan with the dough.
Place the pan in the oven and bake it until it’s a little bit golden brown. It will take about 10 – 15 minutes.
While the pastry is baking, it’s time to make the lemon topping. Using the Mixa, place the eggs, sugar, xanthan gum, lemon juice and chopped lemon rind in the bowl.
Blend the mixture on low for the bowl setting and on low for the beater setting as well. Then, pour the mixture over the hot pastry once it is has turned a light golden brown. To make sure the pastry is ready, when you pull it out of the oven, press on the center with your index finger. If it is firm, then you’re ready to pour the lemon topping on it.
Put it back in the oven now and bake it for 15-20 minutes more or until the egg mixture is firm. When you pull it out of the oven, allow it to cool completely before cutting into it. It easily yields 28 bars. Just make 6 cuts on the 13 inch side and 3 cuts on the 9 inch side.
These bars come out sweet and tangy with an added extra zing to them when you bite into the lemony goodness of the bits of lemon rind in there. It is so decadent and delicious and the Mixa makes the job of making them so easy. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on them and enjoy!
Dr. Meg Haworth is a private chef to the stars in Hollywood. She specializes in food allergies and healing diets. She is the national spokesperson for Nexgenstore and teaches regularly at Whole Foods Markets. For more information on her work and how she can help you eat a better diet, see her website at www.deliciousandhealthy.com