We were lucky enough last month to get a small shipment of fresh Meyer lemons from my brother who lives in Texas and has a tree in his back yard. I saw a bag of 4/5 of them in Giant Food Market this past week so they are available locally.
I have made plenty of full sized lemon tarts but not so much in my small 3 inch across flat bottomed tartlet pans, I made this recipe maybe a couple of years ago. I have two 4 piece pans so I could make up to 8 at a time. I made 6 tartlets and had a tiny bit of filling left over.
We ate a couple last night for dessert and I served them with full fat plain Greek yogurt from Aldi’s which has great flavor and a thick smooth texture. It is rich and still somehow light. A better topping than ice cream which melts…rather unfortunate in a lemon tart and the yogurt is less work than making whipped cream. StonyField Organic Low Fat is my preferred choice for great quality yogurt you might find in Giant or Wegmans.
I make my standard pie crust dough and chilled it before rolling out chunks of it. I didn’t make thick fancy edges; smaller edges being better for putting the lemon filling as the forward taste of these tartlets. I ended up with six shells.
Notes: You can make these tartlets with regular lemons that you freshly juice. You might want to up the sugar by ¼ cup if you do that. Also, these tarts should be stored in the fridge until serving. Enjoy!
Meyer Lemon Tartlets makes six
1 c plus 2 Tbsp. brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)
2 Tbsp. sweet rice flour
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 large egg
2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice
Directions: Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes. Roll chunks of it out to thin circles and fit into tartlet pans. Mine have removable disc bottoms and I highly recommend them. Prick the bottoms with a fork to prevent puffing up and bake at 375 degrees for about 11 or 12 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool. You need six tartlet shells as the filling is enough to fill six.
Update on being gluten free: I went GF seven years ago this past February. My diagnosis was on the last day of January but it took two weeks for me to gradually transition off gluten. I remember the first day I was supposed to be fully gluten free and in the faculty room I absentmindedly popped a chocolate cookie into my mouth and chewed. I was aghast and just felt I couldn’t spit it out in front of everyone. So, the next day was my first fully gf day. It is seven years later and most days I am fine. But once in a while I really morn the loss of the normalness of being able to buy a donut or bagel at a convenience store for a treat. I mourn the inability to be flexible and easy when my family or friends want to eat out. I watch my loved ones eat things I cannot eat anymore. I often can’t eat at church events; nothing safe for me. I feel sad over that. I won’t lie or sugar coat the situation: it still can be difficult and my food choices do leave me feeling left out at times. It is not easy long term, especially when I am eating outside my house and kitchen. There is temptation, there are no options for me most of the time and it just wrenches me to be forbidden many foods I used to enjoy.
On the flip side, I feel much better; the pain in my gut left not that long after going gf. I actually had the start of ulcers in my stomach due to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. I underwent a two week treatment of two heavy duty antibiotics to get that crap out of my stomach! They found it during my endoscopy to confirm my diagnosis of celiac disease. But once I was gf two weeks and the antibiotics were done I was hugely better. It was a great feeling. I highly recommend being fully gluten free if you have the diagnosis of celiac disease. Just don’t eat gf until you have completed your testing; being gf can reduce your symptoms and give a false negative result to testing.
So, how do you do this gf thing every day? One day at a time. With the support of your loved ones. With the knowledge that if you continue to eat gluten you will get sicker and sicker. I knew gluten was at the root of my gut pain and discovered a host of issues that I had been suffering from that are directly linked to my auto immune disorder. I hate how I feel if I do eat gluten and that knowledge is a major factor holding me back from cheating. I am not willing to deal with the pain and the side effects from cheating.
I used to know someone who said she had no symptoms of her disease. I imagine that would be much harder to stay gf without the drum beat of painful hours post gluten feasting! I hope she is sticking to gf. For her health and for her family.
I see folks in social media talking/bragging about their recent cheating and wonder how they do it? How they make that bad choice. I am guessing it is for the taste of regular food, for the freedom to eat something at 711 or Dunkin or a family gathering and a beloved holiday food that is hard to resist. I see their posts, half bragging and half whining about how sick they got. I know we all have moments of weakness. Seeing what they say and have done I feel sure I am on the right path; the choice of eating safely, totally gluten free.
It is just not worth it to me to cheat. To risk damage to my small intestine for that treat, that glass of beer or that plate of regular pasta. I am also afraid that once I start cheating it will become normalized and I will slide downward into daily consumption of a substance I know to be deadly to me. I hold on tight to the knowledge that I am doing what is best for my family and the uprising subsides in my brain. Life goes on.
I eat well. I enjoy many tasty homemade meals and treats. I made focaccia this week for first time in years. Great with soup. I have a lot of awesome go to recipes for things like Italian bread, muffins, cookies, pie, angel food cake and cobbler. People clamor to eat those foods and none of them have to be gluten free. It is totally possible to eat well with a bit of planning, basic willpower and a little effort. So, life is good; even gluten free. Hang tough; you can do it! Thousands of us do it. Have an awesome gluten free day!
Quick update. So I went back last week and got some Cheddar Brats at Lidls…a German supermarket located in Wilson Boro. A plus is that they are super cheap; $2.49 a six pack. So…the bratwursts were on the menu twice so far. Yummy; not too cheddary, juicy as well as mildly smokey. We had them with a version of tater tots called tater crowns; discs of crunchy potato bits. Less than 8 minutes to brown them lightly before diving in. I recommend these brats for a quick tasty meal. Pleaser for the 8 year old. Go get em!
I’ve been making lemon squares for years; including all the years I’ve been gluten free. Tried a few recipes; okay but my clear favorite for taste and easiness to make is the one out of my beloved “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise Roberts; cannot stress enough how reliable and tasty her stuff bakes up. This one definitely falls into both those categories.
I used the wonderful Meyer lemons my brother sends me; so delicate a flavor and perfectly scented. Use whatever lemons you have as this is a delightful treat that even your non-gf friends will clamor for.
Lemon bar with lots of powdered sugar!
“The” Lemon Squares
1 cup King Arthur basic gf blend flour
¼ c sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
5 Tbsp. butter.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. I put the oven shelf near the bottom of the oven. In your stand mixer, blend flour, sugar and gum; add butter which you cut up into 8-10 smaller pieces. Blend until small crumbles. While it does that spray an 8 inch metal pan with cooking spray and dust with gf flour. Pour crumbs into pan and spread evenly as possible into corners and up a bit of the sides. Press a bit but not too hard to get the best result. This recipe’s filling doesn’t go very far up the sides so just a bit up. Bake 15 minutes.
While it bakes make the filling; I use the same mixing bowel and paddle. FYI: I Have a great new paddle with a scraper edge that my guy bought me; it is fantastic at mixing batters better; far less scaping necessary. Best gift in kitchen!
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. KA basic gf blend flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. grated fresh lemon rind; then juice it for
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons should do it)
½ tsp. pure lemon extract
Beat eggs in the mixing bowl after the crust goes into the pan until kinda foamy. Then add rest of ingredients and mix well; be sure the flour is blended in. Pour over the warm crust and bake for 20 more minutes. Let cool before cutting. I like to sprinkle mine with a bit of powdered sugar; 1-2 tbsp worth.
I think it tastes even better the second day. Needs to rest a bit and let the flavors ripen to their fullest.
At Aldi’s two weeks ago, I couldn’t find my favorite imported uncured brats from Germany. Major bummer. Love them fried brown; delicate authentic bratwurst flavor.
This past week we were at a different grocery store, Lidl. I have been there a couple times since they opened in Wilson Boro last summer and got some great deals in the past. Their chocolate is amazing, even better than Aldi’s. Love the dark bars; pistachio, salted dark. Mmmmmm.
What my favorite new find is their smoked bratwurst sausages. 6 in a package for less than $3. Juicy and flavorful; far tastier than what I can find in the big-name grocery stores for far more money. I pan fried some in a bit of olive oil t o brown them; they are already fully cooked. Gluten free of course. We had them with pan fried potato slices, roasted butternut squash and some raw cauliflower.
Definitely getting them again. They come in a few flavors including cheddar brats and one with jalapeno in it for a little spicy! Enjoy.