Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dairy free lemon bars vanished. Residents baffled.

Last night I told my youngest I knew he'd been raiding my private stash of nuts, which he's always denied. As a mom, I KNOW. It's the eyes in the back of my head and the radar ears. I told him I knew, because his siblings hate pecan unless it's in pie, and the eldest won't even touch crunchy peanut butter.

Crime detection is easy when you only have three kids.

Anyway, he said: No way! When I steal nuts, it's always the cashews.

And then he realized what he'd admitted. I'm still laughing.

I also made lemon bars last night, a recipe that I hadn't attempted because of the massive amounts of butter and cream called for. I couldn't bear the disappointment.

However, two years of dairy and gluten free baking have left me with mad skills. Not only were they excellent, they vanished. Poof! I'd suspect goblins, except for the gleam in my husband's eye.

Lemon Bars 
I was scared to try these because of the massive amounts of butter in the original recipe, but two years of GFCF baking left me with mad skills. My family was thrilled.


1 ¼ c GF flour mix
½ c powdered sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp lemon peel
1 tsp vanilla
½ c light olive oil or canola

1. Mix dry stuff. Add wet stuff and stir until combined. For best results, chill dough 90 min to hydrate, but it’s optional.
2. Pat in a 9x9, foil lined pan and bake at 350 F for 20 min, or until slightly browned.

While that’s baking, work on the filling:


4 eggs
1 c + 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 c lemon juice (bottled is fine)
¼ c fresh zest or 1 tbsp dried*
3 tbsp milk of choice*
2 tbsp light olive oil or canola
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp chocolate extract

1. Place everything in a pan. Heat on medium, stirring until slightly thickened (will begin to steam a bit). Strain the filling with a fine mesh strainer to remove bits of peel and globs of egg. Pour over the hot crust and bake 10 to 15 min until filling giggles slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Remove from the oven and cool (an inverted cupcake pan works great).
2. When it’s completely cool, use the foil to lift the bars from the pan so you can slice the bars into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

*I used a heaping spoonful of preserved, salted lemon, which I keep in jars in the fridge for awesome lemon-garlic chicken. Simply whirl washed, chopped lemons in a food processor with a generous amount of salt and store in jars in the fridge. It naturally ferments and softens the flavor, making this an awesome seasoning. Also great in hummus.
*I used coconut milk

The cornstarch helps firm the filling and helps keep the eggs from curdling. Oil provides rich mouth feel, vanilla and chocolate provide “buttery” richness.

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