Most kind of ‘bars’ for desserts, or anything super citrus-y has never been my kind of jam. Of course, I’d never pass either up, but I would never go out of my way to make or eat one. But when I decided to try the lemon bars from the Sweet Laurel cookbook, my mind was instantly changed. With some tweaks and adjustments, I really think I’ve found the ultimate lemon bar. The crust is sturdy, but light enough to match the airy texture of the lemon curd, which is just a perfect blend of sweet and acidic. It’s one of those desserts that fit any occasion, and don’t weight you down with that sugary-sick-to-my-stomach- kind of feeling afterwards. These bars also make me feel like a lady. Because they would and could impress anyone at afternoon tea…if I were ever to do that kind of thing.
Some Baking Notes:
If you aren’t using freshly squeezed lemons, look for some quality lemon juice, usually in the alcohol aisle where the mixers are…You don’t want a lemon juice from concentrate or something that’s watered down.
Fresh eggs will also make the lemon curd that much better! Not only will the beautiful color of a fresh, farm raised egg complement it beautifully, but it will really bring a richness. Quality ingredients create quality meals.
You may always envision lemon bars topped with powdered sugar; feel free to do so if you use refined sugars, but if not, try shredding 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut with 2 tsp arrowroot powder in a food processor and sift over top.
I love these bars out of the fridge. The crust with the curd is even better when chilled. I would recommend chilling for a few hours or even overnight before serving.
Makes 1- 9×10 inch pan
1 ¼ c almond flour
1 ¼ cup gluten free oat flour
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt
½ cup melted coconut oil, slightly cooled
2/3 c honey
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 5 lemons
Preheat oven to 350
Make crust first. Line pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Slowly pour in coconut oil and maple syrup, mix until completely combined. Press evenly into pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly
Whip eggs in mixer with whisk attachment for several minutes until they begin to look frothy. Slowly pour in coconut oil and honey until combined. Fold in the lemon juice and zest by hand, without mixing out the fluff of the eggs. Let filling settle for a few minutes before pouring. Once poured on top of crust, use a knife to tap pan to help get out any bubbles.
Bake for 15-25 minutes until all edges are set and the center barely jiggles. Let cool before slicing. Makes 9 large lemon squares, or 18 triangles if you cut the squares diagonally.