The Best Lemon Squares

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

Lemon bar with lots of powdered sugar!

“The” Lemon Squares

Crust:
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.

Lemon Custard Bars

Lemon season is right now; they are very fresh and I have a whole box of them my wonderful brother in Texas sent me.  The incredible lemon scent when I opened the box about knocked me over! Besides the venerable lemon meringue pie, lemon marmalade, lemoncello liqueur, lemon velvet pie, lemon chiffon pie and lemonade; what else can be made with them? I use them when I oven bake chicken with small potatoes. I make preserved lemons for use in Moroccan cooking and in sauces. I put the zest in shortbread cookie dough and I love lemon bars.  Recently, I found a new lemon bar recipe that is more of a lemon custard bar you cut into squares. This recipe is so simple. I followed it exactly down to the parchment paper lined baking pan; makes for easy removal of the squares after cooling.  This is a 8×8 square pan; makes 9 big squares or 12 smaller rectanges.

The custard is eggs, gf flour blend, baking powder and a whole lot of lemon juice.  Beat them up and pour on top of a lemon scented shortbread (it has lemon zest in it!) and bake a while.  Then comes the waiting; they have to chill two hours before you can cut into the pan of delicate lemony goodness.  The squares get sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar for a pretty picture of a lemon treat.  They are from Nicole Hunn’s gluten free website.  Since she doesn’t allow bloggers to share her recipes; here’s the link to her amazing lemon bars: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gf-lemon-bars-for-dad-plain-lemons-for-me/

lemon-custard-square

They are thicker and more custardy than typical lemon bars and a delicate delight when made using Meyer lemons.  But the recipe is for regular lemons and they make a great dessert using whatever lemons you like.  If you are a lemon lover they can’t be passed by!

Lemon Squares, Very Tasty

I strongly believe in seasonal eating and winter is the season of citrus so more power to the lemon! As mentioned previously, my brother sent me a big box of juicy Meyer lemons from his tree down in Texas. I also believe in making my own treats; truly they are a lot healthier than store made sweets.  I have made lemon meringue pie, lemon shortcake cookies, lemon buttermilk tart and this weekend I made some lemon marmalade. Last night we enjoyed lemon squares, gluten free and very dainty with the special flavor of Meyer lemons.  Of course, you can use the regular lemons available in the store; will be a tad sharper/brighter in flavor but they will work great.  lemon squares 008u

These cookies are very easy to throw together; I made a shortbread cookie style gf press and bake crust and the filling ingredients are whisked together in my mixer and poured into the partially baked crust.  So easy to make and I wanted something light and delicate after all the fancy holiday desserts.  You would never guess they are made without all purpose wheat flour.  Anyone will love them if they are a fan of lemon. Take these to your next gathering, they will be scarped up pretty fast, and you will be seen as a real baker. Best of all you are eating a safe treat that is relatively guilt free; no gluten, no preservatives, not that much sugar compared to a cake and homemade flavor. Score!

Meyer Lemon Squares

 Cookie Tart Crust

1 cup brown rice flour mixture (recipe below)

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. xanthan gum

5 tbsp. cold butter cut up into 6 or 7 chunks

Directions for crust:

Mix the dry ingredients with a stand mixer, add the butter, blend with the paddle blade until the butter is small pebbles.  Press into an 8 inch square pan, be sure to first spray the pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with rice flour.  Bake 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  While it bakes make the filling.

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Baked cookie crust

Filling

3 large eggs, warm them close to room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice

2 tbsp gf flour mix

2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon peel

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs until fluffy, add the sugar slowly but steadily, mix, add rest of ingredients, Mix until smooth.

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Adding the lemon zest.

Pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 min; until set.

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Just out of the oven.

Cool completely and refrigerate if you want to serve them cold. They do not freeze well and only keep about 3 days, if any square are left that long!   I like to sift some powdered sugar on right before serving them. Use a sieve and about 2 tbsp. powdered sugar.  Luscious lemony goodness can be yours with minimal effort.

lemon squares 008

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is from Annalise Roberts; Gluten – Free Baking Classics, a fantastic source for baking gluten free treats, full of recipes just like  your old wheaty friends but so so much safer!